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Preparing for Your First Marathon

Running a marathon is no easy feat but with the correct preparation and training it’s an achievable goal. It takes determination and commitment to tick this lifetime achievement off the bucket list. Train hard and train smart, stay focused and you can cross the finish line and join the elite club of marathoners.

Prepare Mentally
Mental preparation begins long before race day. In fact, it begins before you have gone on your first training run. Running a marathon is a big undertaking, 26.2 miles is a long way to run by any standards and there are a few things you need to get straight in your head. Training for a distance like this is going to take a few months, you will have to make time to run and it will impact your lifestyle. Get your friends and family to rally around and support you or raise money for a charity if you think it will help keep your training on track. Those late Saturday nights having beers with friends are out the window until you cross the finish line.

Train Smart
Your training should be slow and steady. You’re not going to wake up in the morning and run a half marathon. First thing is to build a fitness base and increase it slowly over the coming weeks. Incorporating a 5k, 10k and half marathon into your training schedule will keep you motivated and give you a sense of achievement as you pass each of these milestones. The last thing you want is to get injured and have to pull out altogether. Injuries can be demoralizing, especially if you have been training for a long period. Take your rest days seriously and take the time to train properly; don’t rush it. Remember slow and steady, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Find The Right Shoes and Training Program
Ask for advice in stores, from friends and on forums. Do plenty of research and try on different styles, brands and designs. Your shoes will make or break your training, having the right ones is the key to success. When it comes to choosing a training program, Google is your friend. There are loads of great programs online for the first timer. There are schedules that require anything from four to seven days running per week so find one that works for you. Be realistic when committing to a schedule. Consider your other commitments like family, kids and work and make sure you can fulfill the requirements of your new training program.

Take your training program and stick it up somewhere that you will see it every day. Put it into your phone schedule or keep a copy in your wallet. Whatever you need to do, make sure you don’t forget it. Follow the program correctly and you will have every chance at finishing your first marathon. Long runs are the most important so be sure not to skip these. Getting your body used to running long distances is vital to building yourself up to marathon fitness.

Find a Race
Finally, choose which race you want to run in. Choosing somewhere closer to home is better as you’ll be familiar with the area and friends and family can come out to support you. Being closer to home also allows you to train on the actual route. Set yourself an achievable goal and go for it. It might be a tough few months but the feeling of crossing that finish line will make it all worthwhile.

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