Marathon training can be a daunting experience if you are not prepared and consistent with your training plan. Being prepared can help you plan for every possible scenario so that you are not caught off guard on your big day. Marathons are a celebration of your hard work and training. It’s your day to persevere and bring out your inner beast to the start line! Here are some tips to help your fall marathon go smoothly:
1. Respect the distance and your training plan. A marathon is 26.2 miles long. Being able to run a marathon is an amazing feeling. You have to train for it. If you skimp on your training, you will significantly increase your risk of injury. Many runners who train for their first marathon do not make it to the start line due to lack of training and injury. Train hard and train right to get the best experience and PR at your marathon. Seek out some personal trainer skills or a private fitness trainer if needed to help you succeed.
2. Don’t forget to fuel. The average runner burns approximately 100 calories per mile when running. The average runner burns about 2,600 calories while running a marathon. The body naturally carries close to 2,000 calories of stored glycogen which our bodies use as fuel during sports and endurance events. If you don’t fuel up while running, your glycogen stores will be depleted around Mile 20 – which many endurance athletes refer to as “the wall”. Be sure to consume between 200-300 calories per hour to prevent hitting that wall and to keep up energy levels. Anything simple with simple sugars such as energy gels, bananas, or dried fruit make great choices for fueling when running. A registered nutritionist can help with meal planning if you have a lot of food allergies or food sensitivities.
3. Train with whatever fuel you plan to use on race day. Do not try some new energy drink or food before your marathon. If it doesn’t agree with you, it could cause gastrointestinal (GI) distress and could potentially take you out of your game.
4. Bring layers. Fall marathons are unique because of their drastic change of temperatures. You might start the marathon on a cool and chilly morning but finish up the marathon on a sunny warm day a few hours later. Temperatures for fall marathons can range anywhere from 20 degrees to 80 degrees depending on where you live. Jackets are easy to tie around your waist or clip it to a hydration pack for easy access if ever needed.
5. Have fun! Marathons are a celebration of your hard work! Remember that it does not matter if you come in 1st place or 100th. The finishers’ medal is still the same and it is a representation of every step along your marathon journey. You persevered when it was tough, too cold, too hot, and when you were too tired. You pushed through the mental barriers and accomplished something amazing!
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