Preparing for a marathon can be intimidating, with challenges lurking at every turn. But fear not! This comprehensive guide will address your biggest concerns, from injury prevention and finding good long-distance runner shoes to training strategies. Experts at Brooks Running have compiled a step-by-step roadmap to kickstart your marathon journey confidently — so, on your mark, get set and go!
The Four Building Blocks of Marathon Training
Apart from investing in the best marathon running shoes, the secret of marathon runners is to practice, practice, and some more practice with a good training plan. It involves the following four aspects:
If you are a first-time runner or running after a long break, your first goal is to improve your running time until you can comfortably run for around 20-30 minutes without stopping. Aim for 3-4 weekly runs at a relaxed pace for the first month.
Once your body becomes accustomed to running regularly, introducing one long run of about 10 km or more every 7-10 days is good enough to build the aerobic capacity, mental stamina, and muscular endurance necessary for completing the marathon distance.
Speed workouts in your training can help you run more efficiently, increase cardiovascular fitness, and enhance your race pace performance. Interval training, tempo runs, Fartlek training, and hill repeats are common types of speed training.
The most common mistake marathon runners make is to run every day to get better. However, you risk injuries and mental burnout by not allowing the body to recover. Rest days are crucial as it enables your body to refresh and revive its energy.
Your training plan will also vary depending on your race type. However, the rule is to start with easy runs and work up to the tougher ones. Here's a quick guide to the different race formats:
- Half Marathon—21.1km
- Ultra-Marathon—more than 42.2km
How to get started? Marathon Training Checklist
If you have decided to sign up for your first marathon, your first step would be to set realistic goals and build your training plan. Aside from that, tick all the boxes on the following checklist to ensure safety, comfort, and efficiency during your runs!
- Buy the right gear: You can get synthetic running tees, shorts, leggings, supportive sports bras, gym supporters, and running socks to ensure safety and comfort during long-distance runs.
- Invest in proper running shoes: Well-cushioned and well-fitting long-distance runner shoes can improve your performance and prevent injury. Brooks Running offers some of the best shoes under 10k!
- Maintain a proper diet: Incorporate good carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in your pre-marathon diet. Additionally, keep a tab on your water consumption! Aim for around 2-3 liters of water intake per day.
- Prepare your mind: If you ask marathon runners about the most challenging aspect of marathons, many will mention the struggle to sustain their willpower throughout the race. To up your mental toughness, you can practice mindfulness techniques.
How long should you continue your marathon training?
The answer to this will always be different for everyone — an absolute beginner may need months and even years of training compared to an expert runner. Moving your way up gradually is essential—5k, 10k, 21k, 42k, and so on! Everyone's journey is different, so listen to your body, set realistic goals, use the best marathon running shoes, and adjust your training timeline based on your needs and capabilities.
Common mistakes to avoid during marathon training
During marathon training, you must be aware of common mistakes that can hamper your progress and potentially lead to injuries. Here are some errors to avoid:
- Neglecting proper warm-up and cool-down
- Training inconsistently
- Skipping the taper period
- Wearing the wrong long-distance runner shoes
- Compromising on sound quality, 7-8 hours of night sleep
- Comparing yourself to others
Get started with the right training shoes!
Some vital factors to consider when selecting the best marathon running shoes include the correct fit with enough wiggle room around the toes, arch support, cushioning, stability, flexibility, breathability, and durability.
Brooks Running offers shoes designed keeping in mind all of these aspects. So, if you are searching for the best shoes under 10k, you will find the right match here!