There’s no way to cheat on marathon day, but the following cheat sheet will help you gather some great tips to increase the likelihood of success come race day.
A marathon, even a half-marathon, is a challenging feat for many runners to complete. There’s no real way to sugarcoat the fact that it takes a lot out of the human body to run 13.1 or 26.2 miles. But, there’s no reason why the training aspect of marathon running needs to remain a mystery to so many. The following is a “marathon cheat sheet” that can help demystify and organize some of the most important training tips for marathon runners:
- Once you are in marathon training mode, don’t swap gear. You should have already figured out which shoes, clothing, and accessories work best for you during shorter practice runs. Take the time to get comfortable and begin longer training runs with the gear that you’ve broken in and know.
- Run on soft surfaces if possible during training. The more you favor grass, dirt, or gravel, the better off you’ll feel over the long run. Running can be quite taxing on the body, and there’s no reason to place additional stress on your frame before you enter a race. Yes – you’ll be running on asphalt during your marathon, but the hundreds of miles of training runs before then don’t have to add up to muscle and skeletal fatigue.
- Figure out your diet and hydration plan during shorter runs. The time before serious long-distance training is to begin is a golden timeframe in which to establish your dietary and hydration plan. Find what you can live with, see what fuels you appropriately, and stick to it! The worst idea is to start a new fad running diet or mess with your plan during the weeks leading up to a race.
- Run with someone! The benefits of running with a partner or a committed group are undeniable. Get ready for some serious accountability and a dose of fun when you include others. Obviously, it would be great for the group that you’re running with to be the same individuals that you’re competing with in the upcoming marathon, but it’s not a necessity.
- Ensure the correct running form. You’ll want to land as lightly as possible, keep your feet directly under you when they strike the ground, and push off the moment your feet touch down. Try to feel as light as possible.
- Keep your arms in motion – the proper motion. Fast moving arms can become tiresome, but legs will follow the cadence set forth by the arms. Up the pace ever so slightly by modifying your arm speed. To keep from gripping too tightly, pretend that you’re holding onto a potato chip between your fingers and you don’t want to break it.
These quick tips and marathon cheats will undoubtedly help you more adequately prepare for your next big half or full marathon. Always keep preparedness and safety in mind, gear up appropriately, and find a group to run with. The collective knowledge and wisdom of a group of seasoned runners can often provide the best information to help you get prepared.