Your first question should be: How do I train for a marathon?
What an excellent question!
Is this your first marathon? Maybe it’s your first road race. Don’t sweat it! Did you know 40% of the runners participating in the Chicago marathon each year list the marathon not only their first marathon but their first road race ever? This means you’re among your peers and should feel confident knowing almost half of the participants before you have completed a marathon with the same background as yourself!
Several different options are available for either half or full marathon training on the internet and everyone seems to have a different opinion on which training schedule to use. I chose to use Hal Higdon’s marathon training schedule. Although I’ve been an avid runner most of my life I chose the “Novice 1” training schedule to prevent injury since the higher you move up, the more miles you will put in (and I already have knee issues).
Be sure to study the running course you’ve chosen before setting a goal for your finish time. Some courses are hilly or don’t have the best reputation for optimal weather conditions. You can find courses that have bands playing along the route or even a chardonnay stop at mile 10 (courtesy of the Napa to Sonoma 1/2 marathon).
If you’re looking to qualify for Boston St. George’s marathon might be a good option since it decreases in elevation throughout the race and typically has great weather conditions. I chose San Diego Rock and Roll marathon based on (typically) perfect weather conditions and a rock and roll band every few miles to keep me motivated throughout the race!
*If you don’t already have a running partner try to find one to keep you motivated, especially when you reach the long runs (an 18 mile run can feel really long even if you’ve got great music to listen to).
*Be sure to change out your shoes throughout your training as they will likely wear out before race day.
*Switch your running shoes each day. Buy 2 different pairs and rotate them to run in a different foot bed each day.
*Take care of yourself: Eat well, get enough sleep, STRETCH, and be mindful of injuries so you don’t get stuck with a prolonged injury that prevents you from running in the marathon you’ve already signed up for (which is typically non-refundable).
*Find out what sports drinks will be offered throughout the race. Pick one and start training with it (along with energy powder, gel, etc.) so you won’t have to worry about introducing anything new into your system on race day.
*Apps like RunKeeper will keep you on track for your overall mileage and your min/mile pace.
*Earn $$ just by running! Join Pact so you can earn money each week for your all your runs/workouts over 30 minutes!