How do you prepare for a marathon?
Running the royal distance is a dream of almost every beginner runner. How to face this challenge without harming your body?
Set a goal – then it will be easier to achieve it
It is easier to face a concrete challenge than to plan the realization of intentions that are rooted neither in time nor space. “I want to run a marathon” – such pious wishes have in the mind of many people. But what about it? Nothing will happen from just “wanting”, and the task will be postponed from year to year. Specialists in personal development and management indicate that each goal (including running the royal distance) should be defined according to the SMART concept.
The SMART concept is nothing more than a set of five guidelines that a goal should have in order to make achieving it as likely as possible. The name of the concept is an acronym. It consists of the first letters of the following words from English: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound.
Translating this into Polish and based on the example of a marathon, below you will find tips on how to define the goal to be achieved. It should be:
–specific – clarity in this case is fundamental – you specify that you want to run a marathon, and as is commonly known, this is a run on a strictly defined distance – 42,125 meters;
–measurable – here also there will be no problems with interpretation – either you will reach the finish line or you will not;
–achievable – this point is worth considering in more detail – if you are just starting your running adventure, postpone your marathon plans for a later time and for now concentrate on building up your fitness and gradually extending the distance; remember, Krakow was not built in a day
–important – the will to run the marathon and overcome your weaknesses must be important to you, at least as much as to realize your training assumptions with clockwork precision;
–Timed – another important point – you have to determine specifically WHICH marathon you want to run first – whether it is, for example, the Krakow Marathon next year or one of the foreign marathons in two years’time.
Training plan – how often should you train to run a marathon?
There is no one perfect training plan that will guarantee you marathon success. You can find many training suggestions on the Internet, but remember to compose your training plan taking into account both the time left to the competition and your body’s level of training. You should also realistically assume the time in which you want to overcome the royal distance. For some of you success will be crossing the finish line in the time limit established during the competition, while others will want to overcome subsequent time thresholds. You need to determine which group you want to be in. The intensity of your training will depend on this.
One thing is for sure – if you are just starting to run, don’t try to run a marathon. Yes, if you don’t have any health problems and you’re a fairly active person, there’s a good chance that you’ll finish the marathon within the time limit. However, it will put a huge strain on your body. Spend at least a few months training regularly and start with shorter distances. In the running calendar you will find many interesting proposals. Competitions are held at distances of 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 or 25 kilometers. Gradual joy, if you run a marathon right away, it’s like climbing Rysy during your first visit to the Tatra Mountains. It seems possible, but does it make sense?
Appropriate diet – take into account the increased caloric demand
An athlete does not live by training alone. If you want to prepare yourself optimally for the challenge which is running a marathon, think also about a balanced and well-balanced diet. Remember, the longer and more intensive the training you do, the more your body’s calorific needs increase. Do you want to make sure that you don’t make any mistakes when planning your workout and diet? Consult a personal trainer and nutritionist!