A beginner’s guide to completing a marathon

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People runiing a marathon
Making the decision to run your first marathon can be daunting. One of the hardest parts of the entire process will be taking those first few steps. After that, all you have to do is stick to the programme and tackle the tasks one at a time. To help get you started we’ve put together some tips below.

Training

Deciding on a training plan and sticking to it is a vital part of preparing for a marathon. It doesn’t have to be a fast progression, but try to build up to it with 10km fun runs and half-marathons before aiming for a full marathon. Most experts agree that you should give yourself a year of regular running before attempting a full marathon. No singular plan will work for everyone, but if you can remember that you’re aiming for distance rather than speed, you will soon be able to add incremental amounts onto your training runs over the weeks. Try speaking to a personal trainer when you embark on this journey for a plan that can be tailored to suit to your fitness level and abilities.

Diet

You’ll need to take extra care with what you eat when you’re training for a marathon. Your diet will fuel your body and muscles and is vital to completing a strict exercise regimen without causing injury or wearing yourself out. If you’re not getting the energy and vitamins you need from a balanced and healthy diet alone, you might need to consider adding supplements to boost your performance.

Support

No runner runs alone. Even the leader of the pack way out ahead of the field has a huge support crew with them – only they’re usually standing on the sidelines. Remember to gather your support crew from day one. This will include telling your friends and family your goals, because it’s likely you will run out of steam at some stage and need their help to get you back on track. You can even sign up to a local running club where many of the members will have similar goals and struggles, and you may even meet people who have already completed a marathon and can help guide you through the process.

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Published July 21, 2014
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