Tips From a Personal Trainer to Run a Marathon: How to Get Started

Running a marathon is like any other sport. You must give yourself ample time to train and prepare for the endurance it takes to complete a half, 13.1 miles, or full marathon, 26.2 miles. This is going to take more than several weeks for a beginner. Decide what race you plan to run and give yourself six months to a year to prepare for it if you are a first time runner. This gives your body time to adjust to long distance running.

Why so long? A runner who already runs three to four miles, several times a week has a foundation to run longer distances verses a first time runner. They will need less time to train than someone who has never run a marathon before.

Get the green light and buy the right shoes

If you’ve decided to run a marathon visit your doctor and get cleared first. After, get a good running shoe. Do not scrimp on the right training and marathon shoe. Visit a running shoe store that can do a biomechanics foot test for the shoe you need. Your natural gait and foot structure will dictate what the best shoe is for you. The right running shoe can also decrease injuries so do this before you begin any type or marathon training.

Opt for proper running clothes

Running a marathon is far from fashionable so your clothes should be proper running clothes. A cotton t-shirt and shorts are great for an afternoon out, but not for running a marathon. Your primary goal is to finish with the least amount of injuries.

What do clothes have to do with this? Improper fitting clothes, as well as materials, can have a negative effect on your skin and comfort level while running. Opt for clothes that keep moisture away from the skin and wear them at least once before the big race to make sure they do not irritate your skin and are comfortable.

Start training in small increments

Even if your ultimate goal is to run a full marathon begin by running in small increments. A first time runner should set a goal to do a 5k first. A 5k is 3.1 miles and makes for a good practice course. Just as you would for a marathon, increase your distance by 10% each week until you’ve reached your marathon goal. It’s best to train by mimicking your course. Opt to train outside in an area that provides a similar setting for the race you plan to participate in.

You may choose to do more, but do what causes the least injuries. This also includes drinking adamant amounts of water during training and throughout your marathon. Dehydration is serious and can turn your hard work into a trip to the hospital.

More from Lisa:

3 ways to test your feet for the proper athletic shoe
Common running injuries:what to watch out for
How to choose a sports bra

Lisa White is a Certified Personal Trainer with an emphasis in pre/post natal weight training, as well as a figure competitor and fitness coach. She was previously a health club and sports nutrition store owner.

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Runner’s World

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