5 Things You Need To Know About Training For A Marathon

running a marathon on a roadSetting a goal of running a marathon is an amazing goal. When you start training for a marathon you need to have a plan. Have you always been a runner? Are you new to running? Did you run a half marathon and now a full marathon is your next goal? There is no wrong answer about why you are choosing to run a marathon. There are some things that people don’t think of though when they set out to run a marathon and I want to make sure you think about them. Here are 5 things you need to know about training for a marathon.

  1. Make sure you have the right pair of shoes. A lot of people don’t realize that picking a pair of running shoes goes far beyond just the brand and color you like. Most running stores are able to help you get the right pair. They will watch you run and see your gate and other factors. Different shoes are made for different reasons. Some shoes are made for people who pronate. Some are made for high arches. Stability vs. neutral runners, and so on. If you are having pain in your feet, knees, shins, or ankles, the problem is most commonly that you are running in the wrong pair of shoes. Also, most running shoes last an average of 300 miles. Some more and some less. You will usually start to experience discomfort or pain in those common areas (knees, shins, ankles or feet) if your shoes are getting too old. If you start to add up your shoe mileage and realize you have a couple hundred miles on them, get a new pair of shoes and give them a try. 
  2. Watch out for weight GAIN. One of the biggest misconceptions about marathon training is that you will lose weight. With good diet you can, but many people experience weight gain. The reason for this is usually the idea that you are burning so many calories and you overeat. Carb loading doesn’t mean you eat as much carbs as you can. It means to just eat a meal with easy to digest carbs before a long run. I know a ton of people who were frustrated by the weight gain. Here are my tips. After a run, don’t immediately sit down to a large meal because you will most likely overeat because you feel super hungry. Instead, when you get back from a run, eat something high in protein and some carbs, like a nonfat yogurt with a little granola and usually that will help your body not feel so starving. You have to be careful not to justify eating an entire pizza because you ran 8 miles that day. 
  3. Train properly. It sounds crazy not to train for a marathon right? Amazingly, I see this ALL THE TIME at races. I see runners struggling very early on in the race, which is never a good sign. I always here that person in the corrals bragging that they didn’t train at all. The race is 26.2 miles. If you don’t do any training your body is going to be very very stressed. You can seriously injure yourself. Find a training program and follow it to have a more successful race. If you train properly you can totally successfully hit your goal of running a marathon.
  4. Mentally Prepare. Running 26.2 miles is hard, but mentally a marathon is even harder. You will hit a mental wall at some point and you need to talk yourself through it. It might be because you are tired, your body might ache, your feet might get a blister, you might get bored after 3 hours, but have a song on your playlist or a mantra prepared to help yourself mentally get through it. Go into it knowing it will be hard, but rewarding. Preparing mentally is just as important as preparing physically. 
  5. Have the right clothes and run long runs in them. What many people don’t take into account is “practicing” in your clothes. When you are running 26.2 miles you want to avoid clothes that will chafe or become uncomfortable. No cotton t-shirts! Running clothes that feel fine for a 5k, might not for 26.2 miles. This is why you need to do a couple long runs in the clothes you plan to wear for the marathon. Make sure there are no seems that rub or problems that will make it uncomfortable. Tip: Use vaseline or body glide for areas that might be prone to chafing like sports bra straps. 

Running a marathon is the ultimate bucket list item. I hope you all have an amazing time and that this helped you think about things you might not have thought about. Run like the wind!

Here are some other posts you might like:

8 Things NOT To Say To Someone Training For A Marathon

Half Marathon Training Tips: How to Properly Prepare

Running Quotes And Other Antidotes For Runners

10 Reasons Why You Should NOT Run A Marathon

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people running on a road