Running a marathon is on most people’s “bucket list”. Here’s our tips on how to get it ticked off!
1. Choose an Autumn Marathon
You will spend a lot of time outdoors training and the benefit of your Marathon taking place in the autumn is that most of your training will be done in the summer with better weather, longer days and less chance of catching a bug and losing valuable training time through illness. Also this is much preferable to trying to stick to your training plan over the Christmas hols.
2. Buy your entry
Put your money where your mouth is and buy the entry. Get in there early to ensure the event doesn’t sell out. You can buy guaranteed entry, even to some who are already sold out with us, including autumn events like the Berlin Marathon, Chicago Marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon (Washington), New York Marathon, Athens Marathon and several Italian races.
3. Tell your family and friends
There is a variety of reason for this. Not only do you want the motivation of encouragement from those nearest to you but you also need them on board for those times that you need to train and miss out on family days out, trips to the in-laws, nights out with friends and other family commitments.
4. Tell the world
You can get a wealth of information online and seeing what others are doing will motivate you. Showing off your runs and getting praise can also be very motivational. There are some brilliant online forums for runners where you can share your experiences, ask questions and learn from other runners. Some of the running apps also offer forums and groups to join. It’s very addictive to see what others are doing. We’d recommend STRAVA as it works with almost every mobile phone and most fitness tracking devices.
5. Get the best gear
Part of the fun being a runner is to get a bit geeky about shoes, running kit, technology and everything else running related. The whole experience is more pleasurable when you are clad in nice gear, which will mean you not only look the part but you’ll run in better comfort leading to better performance. Spending money on kit also tends to motivate you to get out there to use it.
6. Get a plan
There are plenty of people out there who have lots of experience in what it takes to train for a successful Marathon. Get yourself either a free online plan or pay a coach to get you a more personalised plan. These plans have different phases which you will learn about; building an aerobic base, long runs, speed work, tapering. Apart from a training plan, get yourself an eating plan as well. Don’t expect to lose lots of weight just because you are running a lot. It is easy to overcompensate with eating too much which may result in actually gaining weight! If you don’t eat well or start eating too much because you are hungry, exercise can be an inefficient way to lose weight (you need to run a half marathon to run off a Pizza – calories burnt vary for each individual). It can be very tempting to reward yourself with high calorific food or sugary drinks – best to have to your nutritional plan.
7. Stick to the training plan(s)
As you get stronger, you will start to find running easier. Some days you feel great and it is tempting to run faster or longer than what is on your plan for that day. Resist the urge as you may not be feeling so good for the rest of the week and when this affects your overall plan, it’s not great for your progress. Remember to keep the race pace for races and don’t get tempted into chasing those CRs on STRAVA on each and every run.
8. Listen to your body
Feeling tried and leg not recovering? Take a day off or two days off. This is when it’s sensible to ditch the plan for little while. It is a fact that overdoing it can quite easily result in injuries. Most injuries are caused by overuse and sudden changes in training volume, and this applies to both novices and pros. Sebastian Coe used to take the day off when his resting heart rate was over 10 beats higher than normal (a elevated resting heart rate could be an indiction that the body hasn’t recovered fully from the last training session).
9. Practice racing
You want to get used to the feelings of race day. The nerves, the preparation, what to eat are all things that you have to plan and the only way to get used to all this is by actually doing it. As part of your preparation, plan in some local 10k or Half Marathons .
The ultimate preparation would be to go through the whole travelling and running process once as well. You can book a spring event with us like the Berlin Half, Paris Half or New York Half.
10. Book a travel package
You have enough on your mind without having to worry about all those travel and race day logistics. So why not let someone else look after all that for you. We are an international tour operator for the New York Marathon but is also a partner of the other World Marathon Majors. You can expect unrivaled local support from experienced Marathon runners and excellently located hotels that offer services in line with the event’s timings.