The most common reason to prepare for a marathon is personal growth. You might want to test your limits and challenge yourself. Others reasons are to lose weight, get healthy or raise awareness for a charity. Marathons are not a common race. A lot of preparation and will-power is required to prepare for a marathon.
Try to keep these necessary points on how to prepare for a marathon:
Focus and Clarity
The first thing you need is mental clarity and motivation. Know why you want to do it, be sure about it. Remind yourself that you need months of training. Your legs might get tired and the weather could be nasty. Be focused and free from negative thoughts. Know that it is tough and be ready for it. Instead of thinking about winning the race, think about completing the race.
Follow a training schedule. Be consistent in practice sessions. Stretch your muscles. Run small distances of 3-5 kilometers up to 10 kilometers. It will take time to prepare so stop waiting. You need at least four months of training to prepare for a marathon. Take training seriously as the real marathon will need full physical and mental preparation.
Run for at least 30-45 kilometers a week. Increase your mileage slowly and gradually to prevent injury and stay healthy. Don’t exceed in the beginning or else you might end up breaking your muscles. Run early in the morning, the morning air has an excess of oxygen and has less dust or pollution.
Rest and recovery
Stay relaxed, focus and stress-free. Sleep for at least 8 hours a day. You need proper rest to recover from muscle stress and strain. Take necessary week offs where you won’t run. Take walk breaks every 5 minutes during running. You cannot continue to run for long so make sure to jog in between your race. Use ice packs in areas with swelling and pain.
Diet / Nutrition
You will burn a lot of calories and sweat. So, take a proper diet that is rich in protein, calcium, and carbohydrates. Hydrate yourself, drink plenty of water, use energy and sports drink when required. Consuming proper nutrition will help you built the necessary glycogen used while running longer races.
Clothing and Accessory
Buy a good pair of shoes, socks and comfortable clothes for running. You can also buy a comfortable running belt to keep your drinks with you. Make sure not to buy new accessories for the final race or you’ll end up feeling uncomfortable. It can affect your months of training.