How to prepare a marathon: tips and guide

The running it is a sport that is gaining more followers day after day. The possibility of practicing it when each one is more comfortable, the little material necessary or the freedom of each one to adapt the training to their own abilities are some of the points in favor of this exercise. Hence, more and more runners are preparing to put into practice everything they have trained in Popular careers. 10km, 15km and even a half Marathon (21km) are some of the most common distances in popular events, but after them there is always curiosity about the queen test: the marathon.

When this is the case and occurs for the first time, the Doubts on how to prepare it lurk and there are certain issues that must be controlled. First of all, it is highly recommended find a preparer. Many professionals have experience in preparing tests like this and they are the ones who will best be able to adapt the training to the objective and physical condition of each one. Jose Maria Rubí It is one of them.

“To prepare for a marathon, the first thing you have to do is have your head. Is a effort to which no body is accustomed and during carrera health is put at stake by subjecting it to very high stress ”, says the coach. Before any type of training or pattern, experts recommend undergoing some physical stress tests and cardiac capacity to avoid complications on race day. “That day the body is subjected to a pressure for which it is never prepared,” he says.

Once your doctor approves this effort, the key is to plan your workouts early. “I usually recommend making the preparations with about six months of time. You never know what unforeseen events you may encounter along the way, ”says Rubí. From injury to external confinement, there are many setbacks that can occur during preparation. Having time to react is vital to getting homework done on race day. “The previous six months are a standard work time for any type of runner, because in the case of first timers, it allows them to arrive prepared for the race, and in the case of more experienced runners, it allows them to better work on the objectives set”, assures the trainer .

In the same line, Josep Capel, amateur athlete, and Carles castillejoAs a former professional runner and now a coach, they start from different experiences, but they coincide on most points. “If it is the first marathon the only objective has to be to finish it. It is a very demanding distance and it has nothing to do with anything you have done before, and also, the first time it is unrepeatable. You have to go out and enjoy yourself and do it throughout the whole process, ”says Castillejo. For Capel, the vision is similar, although with some nuance. “Going out to enjoy is very important but wearing some easy target how getting less than four hours helps to have a better focus and not to lose motivation ”, he explains based on his own experience.

Tips for successful preparation

For both the key is to carry a adequate and well-planned preparation. “I usually plan one more training a week than they are used to doing but we always respect the two rest days,” Castillejo explains. “You have to prepare little by little, because running for two and a half or three hours alone and in silence is Lasted and you have to learn to get ahead of setbacks that may arise on the day of the race in the most natural way possible “, explains the ex-marathoner.” During the preparations that I have carried out, it worked for me to go varying workouts. A few more days of series, a few days of longer runs … This way you improve different areas of your practice “, explains Capel.

Thus, although there is no single way to prepare a marathon because each person must perform a series of trainings and frequencies based on their previous base and their final goal, there are a number of common factors that we can find in various types of preparation.

Rest and progression

In fact, training every day can be counterproductive. Rest is also an important part of training. In order to correctly assimilate the exercise performed and improve, you must rest. One of the most important things to prepare for a marathon is to do it progressively. Starting too hard or running too long can cause injuries and even feelings of frustration that make us stop preparing. You have to start with comfortable distances and frequencies, such as two or three weekly runs of 5km and gradually increase the kilometers or the total time of training as the weeks progress.

Trust a professional

It’s basic. Even if you get used to jogging, professional help is very important in this case because the level of requirement of the test is not the same as that of other types of shorter distance races. In addition, having help will allow us to better adapt the training to the objective and have a better chance of success.

Accumulate kilometers

90% of the preparation is based on that. You have to repeat months of training and perform long runs to get closer to the body little by little and progressively to the day of the race. This allows you to learn to save energy to know how to manage it efficiently on race day. In addition, perform faster series, hill races or starts allows you to see how the body responds to different moments and profiles of the race.

Supplement with strength training

One strength training session a week will help us strengthen muscles that are complementary to those exercised during the race and will help us avoid possible injuries. Strengthen the core o la lumbar area it is also important to avoid back pain after running training sessions. We can include tables of exercises like plates and its variants, burpees, push-ups and even squats or lounges to strengthen the body and prepare it for the race.

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The mind also trains

An important part of the preparation is the head. Despite the fact that each person is different and each one usually has different things, on a mental level it is also important to be prepared for race day and achieve a feeling of mental toughness that allows to overcome obstacles, fatigue, the so-called ‘wall’ or any type of negative feelings. From jogging despite being tired or in bad weather, to doing long runs … Everything is strategies that allow to advance to possible sensations that are experienced on the day of the marathon. It is important to prepare your head, but it is also crucial to arrive fresh to the race, so avoid overloading.


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