How to effectively train for a marathon

Jan 19, 2018 | Read time: 4 mins

Jan 19, 2018 | Read time:

So you have taken the major decision to run the KLAY Gurgaon Couple’s Marathon! Congratulations, step one is over. While your mind might be fully set to participate in the marathon, is your body ready for it? After you have registered, it’s now time for you to build up your body’s fitness levels with an intensive training plan for the marathon. How can you and your better half ensure you cross that finish line? Here are some tips on how to prepare for a marathon.

How to train for a marathon for beginners

Set a training plan:

Although committing to run a marathon is a big step, it is only the first step in a long journey. No one can start running the entire distance immediately with zero practice whatsoever. At this stage, you and your partner need to work on a training plan for the marathon together to get your endurance levels up. Remember to find a plan that starts off at a manageable pace and slowly builds distance and endurance. This will build your stamina slowly and carefully to meet the demands you and your loved one will feel on Marathon Day!

Rest and Recovery:

Just as a car needs the right fuel and service to ensure optimal performance, your body needs the best nutrition, rest and recovery along with your training. Your training plan for the marathon should also include strategies to rest and refuel. Always ensure you warm up and cool down after a workout – however short it might be. When the post-workout hunger pangs hit, don’t ignore them! You have a small window of up to 30 minutes where your body is best able to replenish the carbohydrates and protein that were used up during training. Experts recommend consuming foods with a 3 to 1 protein to carbohydrate ratio. You can refuel using protein shakes or granola bars. When training for a marathon, diet and exercise need to work in tandem.

Set achievable goals:

While training for a marathon, especially if you are a beginner, just finishing the event is a huge accomplishment. Your first marathon is not when you should be aiming at winning. While setting your goals, focus on training to comfortably run the distance you have signed up for. Don’t try to set lofty ambitions for yourself because you might just end up feeling drained.

Mental preparation for marathon:

If you set your mind to it, there is nothing that you cannot achieve. This holds true even while training for a marathon. Imagine yourself finishing the race and picture the elation on your face when you cross that line. Keeping that image in mind will go a long way in your mental preparation for marathon training! For a little extra preparation, chart out the running course on a map (Google maps even gives you a terrain view) so you don’t face any surprises on D-Day!

Get the right equipment:

You can’t put your best foot forward if it isn’t fitted out with the best gear. Go to a good sports store and have them help you choose a pair of running shoes. It is very important that your shoes fit well, have the right type of sole, and are comfortable, light and flexible. It is also important to choose socks that are comfortable, protective and let your feet breathe.

Should you eat before the race?

When training for a marathon, diet plays a huge role. Contrary to what people believe, do not load up on carbohydrates the night before the race – it may leave you feeling heavy and uncomfortable. Have carbohydrates for lunch, the day prior to the race and keep your dinner light. On the day of the race, experts suggest eating 3 hours before the race to ensure the food has enough time to fuel your body. Carry ORS tetra packs and plenty of water with you on the day of the race.

If you and your better half make the perfect training plan for the marathon and stick to it, there is nothing stopping you from crossing the finish line together! So what are you waiting for? Grab your planners, make those lists, choose the most suitable equipment and race towards the finish line!

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