First marathon or half marathon?
Height tips to start your training
First, clear the idea with your doctor at a physical exam. Then, do this:
This makes you accountable. Tell everyone who will listen, says Joe Donovan, a Milwaukee runner who wrote the Guide to Training for Your First Marathon. “Only when you tell other people is it real.”
Set a specific goal.
It’s not as simple as saying your goal is to finish 13.1 miles or 21.1 km (a half marathon) or 26.2 miles or 42.195 km (a full marathon). Ask yourself why you are running the race. Figuring that out will help guide your training.
Make a plan.
You need a nuts-and-bolts training plan. You can get that online, from a running coach if you happen to be in a running club or from running publications. Your plan should be realistic.
Don’t overdo it.
Don’t add miles too quickly. The established rule is not to boost your miles by more than 10% per week.
No one sticks to the training plan perfectly. Accept bad runs during training. Injuries can happen too. But if you have a reasonable plan for running, nutrition and rest, you’re more likely to stay injury free.
Monitor your heart rate.
Enthusiasm is good but there’s a downside: overtraining. If you see a big jump in your heart rate, you probably are overtraining. Back off and recover.
Mimic race day.
During training, replicate the race experience. Get used to the conditions you’ll face on race day. Check out the race course ahead of time. Never wear new shoes, socks or shorts on race day.
Run with attitude.
Think positively. Tune out any negative talk you hear on the course. Replace all of that with positive visualization.
Excerpts from a WebMD feature by Kathleen Doheny, reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD.