Running a marathon is a feat that anyone can achieve if the proper preparation is undertaken. It is not as hard as you think. You can do it just as long as you have the right impetus and you prepare your body for the grueling test of stamina on the road.
One experienced trainer encouragingly says that it is a matter of running realistic distances on a regular basis, and then adding more miles in a gradual manner. In this way, you will be able to prepare your body for the longer miles that a marathon requires.
So, to prepare your body for a rigorous marathon, here are some tips on how to go about it.
You should consider two important elements that spell success in long distance running. They are musculoskeletal resilience and cardiovascular fitness. Your muscles must be able to bounce back readily and your lung capacity must be able to support you for the long hours ahead.
The muscle resilience factor figures more prominently in long distance races than the cardiovascular fitness factor. Your ability to tolerate repetitive compressive and ground reaction forces bearing on your bones and muscles must be heightened if you are going to last a marathon.
As it is, most conventional runners take their cardiovascular system to the limit for about two hours, but those who ran marathons will more than likely feel stress in their muscles and joints during the last six miles.
The basic marathon training for beginners usually includes three runs every week combined with two days of cross training and then followed by two days of rest. Comprising the three running days are a short and fast run, followed by a medium ran, and then concluded by a long run.
There is no hard and fast rule as to what day of the week you can start, just as long as you give your body the proper rest it needs for two days. You can do your cross training by biking outdoors. Then do some swimming, hiking, or taking aerobics classes that focus on the different ways of moving as opposed to running movements.
You can choose your short runs to either be a 3 or 4 mile run, with focus on cardiovascular stress. This can be done in a treadmill at a Crossfit gym or Gold’s Gym where you can adjust your elevation as well as your pace conveniently. Start by warming up at 0% incline and a pace of 5.5 miles per hour for five minutes.
After five minutes, increase your pace to 6 mph and do it for the next 4 minutes. For the last 20 minutes, increase your pace by .1 mph every minute. When you reach 3 miles, you will be doing around 8 mph. But you can adjust this pace slower or faster depending on your current stress limits.
Middle Distance Runs
You can perform this run on a treadmill or outdoors. It is designed as a bridge to the short run and the long run. Your pace should be comfortable at the start of the run but at a speed where you can’t easily talk to another person.
This run should boost your confidence that you are able to run for more than one hour without getting physically exhausted. If you are in a gym, you are not allowed to go for more than one hour. But you can divide your one hour run into two, and just take a short walk to the coffee table at the middle and then come back quickly to complete your run.
This is the most important part of your marathon training. Should you feel a need to skip one run, just do a short or a middle distance run but do not avoid it entirely.
You should start the night before your run by drinking enough water and eating nutritious food. Continue doing this on the day of your run. You need to drink at least one liter of water and an energy bar for every hour you are running.
Run at a speed that you can carry a conversation but not so slow that you can recite the Constitution of the United States. You must maintain a rate of exertion at a level of 5 to 6 from a maximum of 10. It is not bad if you feel you have to continue the distance by walking or a combination of walking and running for a portion or even one half of your long run.
The long run is designed to enhance your musculoskeletal resilience factor. With this run, you can determine if your muscles, ligaments and cartilages will be able to stand the stress.
However, should you feel that tendonitis is creeping in at the 10-mile mark, don’t hesitate to consult with a dependable physical therapist so that he can remedy any biochemical dysfunction that may ensue.