Running Your First Marathon? Here’s What to Know
- Posted on: May 15 2017
So you’ve decided to go for it – your first marathon. Training for this life-changing event makes an extremely beneficial impact on your diet, sleep patterns and social life. Before you begin training, it’s important to get the green light from your doctor to ensure that you’re in good physical health. And remember that your body will need to adapt slowly to your training regimen, generally in at least six weeks. To help get you off on the right foot, here are some first-time marathon training tips:
- Wear the right shoes. Visit a running store or shoe specialist to determine the shoe that’s best for you. Be sure to tell them how often you run, your weekly mileage to date, your marathon goal and which surfaces you run on to find the best shoe for you.
- Log your training. Keep track of your run times, mileage, race time and distance.
- Run 3 to 4 times a week. This should include one long run, two runs that are a little shorter, and one optional easy recover run. To help with speed, run slightly faster in short times and distances, and for strength, include some hills in your run once a week.
- Cross-train. To help with aerobic conditioning, consider cross-training once or twice a week by cycling or swimming for about 45 minutes each time at a moderate level of intensity.
- Take your resting pulse. Monitor your resting heart rate each morning when you wake up and log it in your training log. After about a week you should have a baseline number, and as your physical activity improves, your resting pulse will go down. Make sure to take note if your resting heart rate increases suddenly by 10% or more, as this can indicate fatigue or an oncoming illness. It’s a good idea to take it easy that day.
- Alternate hard days. Don’t overdo it by running long distances twice in a row. Take a day off in between, or opt for an easy day instead. And always allow at least one day a week off completely to rest and recover.
- Recruit a support team. Knowing that you have support from your family and friends while your train can go a long way, so enlist a cheering squad of sorts to help keep you focused and positive.
To find out if you’re in good physical shape to begin training for your first marathon, or for more information about any of the services we provide, schedule an appointment with Foot and Ankle Specialty Group online or call 310.651.2366.