My first marathon will most probably be held next year in February. I have been thinking very seriously about running those mythic 42.192 km in a decent time. I know running the first marathon will be one of my memorable experiences and I truly believe anyone can try it. When it comes to your personal goals, finishing your fist marathon will be your only target. Finishing it in a specific time frame, will come after serious dedication and training.
To finish a marathon in less than 4 hours, for example, it will require a prior year of full preparation, being in weight during most of your work-outs and having achieved a Personal Record (PR) of 46 minutes for a 10km race. However, the training and diet will still count as key elements to successfully run and enjoy the marathon.
Best tips for training marathons
I have some tips that I have been gathering from different sources:
- One should be in shape before attempting to join a full marathon. Reaching this first step can be after 8-9 weeks of training. This is possible for any person without previous experience or condition. After these weeks, anyone will be able to start preparing for a marathon.
- Divide your week in 3 to 4 training days except for the previous weeks before the marathon when you will increase the training and intensity.
- Alternate different practices (long distance, interval trainings, trail running...) and get used to measure always your time and distance.
- Use methods to measure your Heat Rate as it is crucial to avoid over-training.
- Join a club or running group. This will help you being consistent and keeping you motivated to run in cold or rainy days.
- Avoid competing in training days. You are just training. Try to follow your goal, not the faster members of your group.
- Try barefoot running as part of your exercise. This is great after Interval Trainings. Try running on grass some speed exercises after your practice and before the stretching.