No wonder running a marathon is one of the most rewarding things a person can ever do, but also one of the toughest. If you are getting ready to run a marathon, be sure to follow these training tips.

Start Small

If this is your first time being trained for a marathon, you just cannot expect to go out and run 20, or even 10 miles in record time at once. Start small, like really small. Try a mile or two a day, and slowly work try to double digits

Start Early

The trick to start small is to start early, like some 4-6 months in advance. In this way your body can get ample of time to adjust and recover before the big race. You just can’t be ready in a month unless you are an avid marathoner. You will just end up hurting yourself.

Know Yourself

It’s important to know your body’s limit. This will be helpful for you to avoid injury. If you planned to run for 10 miles but you feel that your body is giving up at 7, don’t push it to complete 10. Recover, and try again in a day or two. Sometime it is more practical to stick with a 10K or a half-marathon.

Slightly Under train

I know that seems counterproductive, but it is good to be on safer side. If you force yourself more than your limits you could end up hurting yourself and losing all the progress you made so far. It is actually better to remain undertrained, and feel strong and eager, than to be over trained and fall sick or injure yourself.

Slow, Long Runs

If you are new to the marathon, the more important are the slow and long runs which good for your training. It takes time to develop a habit of running for 3 to 5 hours. It’s very important to take these runs slow. Do not think you can start off at a good marathon pace. Simply take walking breaks every hour.

Rest Time

You need time to recover, both physically and mentally. Only 3 to 4 days in a week is good enough. You do not have to train hard 7 days a week. On rest days all you need to do is stay active, even if is at a leisure pace. Go for a walk in the park or relax in a swimming pool.

Carbs

Every veteran marathoner knows how important a rich carbohydrates diet is. Before and during a workout eat carb-gels or drink a sports drink. After the workout, restore your body’s energy with a whole grain toast or pasta.

Iron

There are very few top marathon runners that classify themselves as vegetarians. While you run, you sweat and hence you tend to lose iron through calories and sweat. Hence it is very important to consume iron-rich foods, such as dark leafy greens, red meat, eggs, and beans. Cooking food in an iron skillet will help you too.

Two Week Taper

Many runners hate to taper, or decrease distance and/or pace significantly. Studies have shown that after 2 to 3 week taper your muscles adjust and improve your performance. Of course, it will be hard to get back into the routine of running after you had a break for a long period, but you need to practice on mind than matter.

Hydrate

This is probably the most important tip! If you are running a lot, especially for long duration, you need more and more water and electrolytes. Always have a water bottle with you throughout the day. Gulp down a sports drink an hour before you go on a long run. There are even water bottle holders that can easily fit around your waist so that you don’t hold it while you are running.

Invest in Good Shoes

You may think that the shoes you wear to gym are fine, but they aren’t. Your feet are going to take you close to 50 miles during training; hence they deserve a fantastic pair of shoes. They might be more expensive than your average pair of shoes, but your feet will say you thank you.