by Laura Romeo, our marathon-bound blogger
While I’m no official marathon training coach, I like to think I know a thing or two about training for races, especially the longer ones. I can safely say that I’m doing much better this time than the last time I trained for a marathon. So, if you’re preparing to run that daunting 26.2-mile race, here are my personal marathon training tips:
- Get a good pair of shoes. Ok, so this is kind of a no-brainer, but I can’t stress it enough. Good shoes are important for comfort, but the wrong shoes increase your chances of injury. Your feet will be happier in quality shoes.
- Start off easy. Don’t get overzealous in the beginning. Give yourself time; the mileage will come. Be kind to your running self.
- Hydrate. You’re not invincible. Chances are you’re already a little dehydrated if you’re thirsty during your run. Drink water for the first hour of running, then supplement after that with a sports drink; something with electrolytes and sodium.
- Fuel up. I know it’s hard sometimes to eat before a run, but if it’s going to be a long one, eat something anyway. Your body will thank you for it. Bring something with you to munch on just in case. Hard candy can be good for the simple carbs, or go for a gel if you can stomach it (I can’t). I find that a granola bar does the trick.
- Find new and different places to run. Avoid running in the same park where you go in circles for 20 miles (like I did for my first marathon), even if it’s your favorite park. It’s boring and uninspiring. Explore some new paths; you never know where you’ll find yourself.
- Surround yourself with support. Whether it comes from family, friends, a spouse or all of the above, make sure you know people who are ready to accept your strange tan lines, collection of water bottles, and your million pairs of running socks. They will say you can keep going when you think you can’t.
- Have fun! If you hate running, then you probably shouldn’t be preparing for a marathon. It will be 26.2 miles of misery. But if you’re obsessed with racing like I am (even a little bit), run while you can and enjoy the gift of two legs that can carry you over great distances.
Running a marathon takes some serious guts, determination, and dedication. When you reach that finish line and everything hurts, you can say, “I finished a marathon,” something no one can take away from you. So get out there and run!