Running seems fun, Right? And that’s why you signed up for your first race.
Unlike us couch potatoes, if the idea of joining a marathon crosses your mind, definitely means that you have a strong willpower to do something big. You were motivated enough to do something that’s out of the blue. And so were you sensible enough to buy sneakers and started practice running a week or two before the race and that’s when you see stars in the daylight. Why stars in daylight. They have their rights reserved for night time only.
This would have happened to you because that practice you started earlier gifted you some serious business. First running around (let’s say 5 miles daily) gifted you bristles on your feet along with asthma attacks (optional) and few other injuries. After later rounds, you had to move with sore legs for at least a week. This resulted in either your poor performance in the race or worse, you weren’t even able to show up in the race.
That’s me absolutely not exaggerating. So, If you are a beginner and want a better experience and some really exciting and fond memories of your first marathon race (obviously it’s a big deal and no one would want to spoil it) you need to start practicing and training months ago. Just remember to start with baby steps.
Here are some of the most important tips or baby steps for beginners:
Confirm your consistency:
Thinking about being in a marathon and being in a marathon requires some serious and realistic approach. It’s definitely easier said than done. So, first of all, make sure that you are up to this challenge without actually being asked for a challenge. This is something that you are determined to do and most importantly, you are doing it for yourself and without any external reason. Because the thing with external reason is that once they are solved or over you lose enthusiasm. That’s why make sure that your efforts are not going in vain and you will make it till the end with exact same motivation and can-do attitude. As the saying goes “To run a marathon is to take a giant leap comprised of many little steps” – Anonymous.
Buy a new pair of shoes and socks. Be a bit more pragmatic but if you are a novice in doing so ask for an advice from a runner or workers at shoe stores. Choose one that’s comfortable enough for running and have enough space in them (just in case of swelling). Shoes should be lightweight with a strong grip. Test them by running at least 10 miles. If they don’t leave you with bristles and sore feet than that’s the lucky pair which will accompany you to your first marathon.
Participating for the first time means you are high on motivation which is perfectly fine but doesn’t let that motivation turn into over-enthusiasm. Process workout and training gradually and periodically. Don’t workout firstly without a trainer or supervisor and secondly don’t do it all at once. Because remember that you are not an athlete already by signing up for a marathon. Your body will respond to work out in a certain way which may include some -ve effects on your health like stretching of muscles, swelling, etc. So, you need to make positive changes in your diet, sleep patterns and training.
Listen to your body:
You are training for your sake and your body must suffer. So when it asks for some rest or treatment DO NOT I repeat DO NOT ignore that call. Moreover throughout the training, regularly visit sports therapist (some hidden injuries would cost you big time). In a dialogue between your body and training, listen to your body first. We owe our body for whatever unrest it is feeling for our sake. Plus some physiques are not for athletic purposes but we can do some moderation through proper diet and exercise. But again for all this, you need a bona fide guidance and patience.
You know the distance of a marathon race. You started off running on the first day and try to cover the same distance. The outcome of your tremendous effort will be epic. You’ll not be able to come home on your own two feet along with sore body for a couple of days or worse for weeks. How will it feel to start off in the morning with so much enthusiasm and energy and calling the day off with sore legs and body ache? It will not only spoil your zeal to make a difference but irregularity in workout schedule, which is a total disaster in itself. Since slow progress is better than no progress at all, you make sure to increase your mileage gradually. Start with running for 10 miles and then increase it every other day with cutback week once a month.
Stay strong till the end:
Make a list of all the do’s and don’ts about your exercise, diet, running, sleep patterns, shoes, clothes etc. and stick to it till you achieve your goal. Don’t even think of quitting halfway through your practice no matter what hindrance you face.
Moreover be consistent in your choices because you can’t afford trying new things (in case they don’t suit) on the day of the race. Make yourself familiar with everything that is necessary for a marathon. At the very beginning take guides from former marathon runners and trainers or even sportsmen of different fields about schedules of workouts, running, resting etc. And then stick to your techniques and style till you bring back home some medal or shield. (just saying it for a bit of inspiration because always remember that only one person stands first and takes the medal home. Others have to strive according to their capability and be grateful for what they have).
Prepare yourself for the weather:
Weather can be a hindrance if you are traveling to another state for a marathon. Prepare yourself beforehand for all weather conditions. Actually, you should prepare yourself for every kind of different and unusual situation in a way that nothing affects your performance. Whether it be climate, clothes, food (in case you are going to some other country their food would be different and that’s one thing you can’t prepare yourself for beforehand).
Summing it all, just remember that your dream to win a marathon is really big and with big achievements comes big hindrances. Don’t get perplexed by it because if you can dream big you can overcome hindrances too. As the saying goes “Obstacles are the raw material of great accomplishments” – Tommy Newberry
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