During the past two decades the number of marathon events has skyrocketed and today more than a thousand marathons take place in the USA alone. But why has this sport become so popular among people? Well, not only does regular exercise make you happier and more fit, but it also strengthens your heart and improves your overall health. When it comes to completing a marathon, it is a never-ending challenge. This sport gives you the opportunity to push your limits and break out of your comfort zone time after time, all you need to do is increase your mileage. Millions of people have caught the running bug, and if you enjoy a good challenge, you are probably wondering how you can get ready for your first marathon.
If you are a true fan of this sport, here is an interesting fact you might enjoy. In 490 BC, a man ran from Marathon (yes, it was a town) all the way to Athens to proclaim the victory of Greece over Persia. It took him 10 days, but he managed to run 280 miles. Marathon as a sport became official in 1896 after it was included as an Olympic event in Greece. Interestingly, this sport wasn’t so popular until the year 2000. Since then it has been all the rage, and its popularity is still growing.
Start training on time
You cannot just wake up one morning and decide to run a marathon in the afternoon, because you will be the first to drop. Every athlete will tell you that you need to start preparing for this event as early as possible since you will need several months to get ready. Completing a marathon is nothing like jogging around the neighborhood, because the distance, as well as the preparations, are all at a new higher level. Keep in mind that before you decide to do this, you should visit your doctor and get a checkup, just in case. If they give you the green light, then tie your shoelaces and hit the road.
Know your limits
When you decide to start training for the marathon, you need to start small. Your body needs time to adjust, so don’t run for many miles the first day. Every day you can slightly increase the distance and work towards your goal. When you are finally able to complete the distance, you can start working on your finish time. A marathon will not only test your physical strength but your mindset as well. If you let your mind wander after some time you will find yourself stopping or walking, so if you want to keep pushing for a record time you need to work on your concentration.
Hit the gym
If you think that just pounding the pavement will get you ready for the big event, you are mistaken. You need to strengthen your muscles as well, so visit the gym at least twice a week. This way you will not only improve your stamina but also ward off unnecessary injuries. Since all this training will cause muscle tension, massage your arms and legs every day in order to reduce soreness and improve mobility.
Buy appropriate equipment
When it comes to running a marathon, you need to have high-quality running shoes. A lot of people buy new sneakers just before the big race, but that is a huge mistake. Your footwear should be well worn in by the time you run, otherwise, you won’t feel comfortable. If you have no idea what kind of training shoes you should get, check out the reviews and see which running shoes are specifically suitable for you. When you have found the perfect pair, you can start looking for appropriate clothing. Keep in mind that you need to check the forecast before the marathon so you can dress accordingly. In case it is raining on the big day you will need a long-sleeved wick T-shirt and a Lycra tight, otherwise capris shorts and a running T-shirt will do just fine.
Food is fuel
Two months before the race starts taking in more carbohydrates and protein in your meals. Grains, fruits, and starchy vegetables will properly fuel your body and give you the strength to complete your next challenge. One week before the race increase your food intake and protein portions. Don’t forget to take lots of water and other sports beverages since you can easily dehydrate.
So you see, preparing for a marathon is not some boogeyman you need to be scared of. If you just start training on time, stick to your workout routine, eat healthy and choose your equipment wisely, you will be able to push your limits and overcome new obstacles without any problems. Also, forget about praises and medals. After all, that overwhelming feeling you get after completing your first marathon is an ultimate trophy on its own.