How To Prepare For a Marathon

Running is a fantastic exercise and is associated with numerous health benefits. From building strong bones and muscles, burning calories, and maintaining a healthy weight to releasing stress and reducing depression and anxiety, this cardiovascular training is the father of all exercises. Studies even suggest that a 20-minute walk can reduce the risk of a heart attack to a great extent. 

If you plan to participate in a marathon or a similar competition, you will need a lot of stamina, endurance, and determination. Most runners run a marathon to meet a personal challenge and test their limits. 

Why Run A Marathon?

Initially, you need to think about why you need to run a marathon when you could be living your life with a big belly on a sofa with a beer in one hand and a bucket of fried wings in the other. You already got the answer, didn’t you?

Well, that’s not just it. For multiple reasons, running a marathon could be a fantastic experience, like:

  • Fulfil a long-held ambition
  • Raise funds for charity
  • Achieve a sense of victory
  • Improve cardiovascular health
  • Just for the sake of entertainment

But do you know the most important reason for running a marathon? You can! 

If you want to do something big and just because you think you can’t, you’re not even trying, that would give you an excuse to never stand up for yourself. 

All you need is a little training, and here’s how you can do that:

  1. Build Mileage Gradually:

Building stamina to run longer won’t happen overnight. You can’t expect yourself to climb Mount Everest in one go. So, the first day you step foot on the track to run, remember that you will get exhausted pretty soon and probably not even reach slightly close to your target. 

Is it something bad?

No! That’s what we call training. The good news is that stamina-building doesn’t take too long. You can see a significant improvement in your capability within a month. But the key is consistency. The results will be delayed if you skip training and have cheat days often. 

Start slow and take your first day as a test to check your abilities. If you can run for 500m straight, go for 550m tomorrow and then 600m. A gradual increase will motivate you and help you achieve your goal quickly.

  1. Quit Poor Habits:

Okay, so we know it’s not really easy quitting certain habits like smoking, which can hinder your performance. If you’re a smoker, and running causes you shortness of breath, try switching to better alternatives such as vapes instead. Elfliq offers the best Nic Salts flavours, which you can enjoy, plus slowly reducing the nicotine intake can help you quit smoking for good.

Other habits like excess alcohol consumption, sleeping less than required, waking up late, etc., seem like regular habits, but poor habits can significantly impact your performance. For instance, sleep deprivation can lead to fatigue, while waking up late can make you lose motivation.  If you’re committed to your goal, you must change your routine and habits to ensure maximum efficiency.

  1. Diet Planning:

No more bucket of fried wings for you.

Yeah, who doesn’t love wings? But since we’re planning something more critical, we might need to reduce our diet preferences. Fast food, oily products, processed foods, soft drinks, and sugary items can cause fat accumulation in your body. Fat is a runner’s enemy. It restricts muscle function, impedes cardiovascular health and negatively affects your body’s overall endurance. 

So the next time you order a Big Mac, think about your progress and how just a fraction of negligence can waste your efforts.

  1. The Long Run:

You’ve covered the basics so far, so now it’s time for a different exercise. Every day, you’re running and gradually increasing your distance. So, after around 7 – 10 days, it’s time for the long run. 

A long run is essential for your body to adjust to longer distances. You would need to run a couple of miles, for instance, 10 miles one week and then increase it to 12 miles the next one and so on. 

  1. Rest and Recovery:

Unlike every other motivational video that wants you to work 25 hours daily, let’s be realistic and accept that your body needs rest. Resting isn’t something you can compromise and say, “Man! I feel like a new me today!” Because by the end of the day, you’ll feel like a significantly older version of yourself. 

When you run, your muscle tissues break, requiring 42 – 72 hours to recover.  Over-exercising will constantly tear your muscle fibres, and you’ll lose your performance efficiency even more with less recovery time. 

Summing Up!

In the end, it’s all about consistency and commitment to yourself. Psychologically, if you’ve aimed to run a marathon and display an excellent performance, you would train with dedication and ensure nothing falls short. But the good news is that the final taste of victory would be sweeter than you may have imagined. 

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