Marathon Preparation: how to prepare for running?
Written by: Loris Vitry (coach and Yoga teacher)
Validated by: Cathy Maillot (Osteopath)
Caution: If you have any medical questions or concerns, please speak to your doctor. Even if the articles on this site are based on scientific studies, they do not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
It is not easy to run a marathon.
It takes effort and courage.
The marathon is more difficult and may become a source of stress when participating for the first time.
However, it builds courage, character, and confidence through preparations.
Preparing for running competition always requires willpower and discipline.
Once the candidate has made the decision, he must establish his program and act methodically.
Better yet, he must develop a different mindset to face the forty-two kilometers race.
Discover the different stages of preparation for this running race and the necessary equipment in this article.
You need suitable sports shoes
When the candidate has to walk several kilometers with mismatched shoes, he often risks being injured.
It is therefore recommended to acquire suitable shoes in a sports store.
These shoes should support your feet well and give you a comfortable wearing experience.
These shoes must be used for your training and must not be changed on the day of the marathon.
Women should avoid wearing high heel shoes during the entire preparation period, as these types of shoes can damage the plantar fascia and cause tendonitis problems.
You must make all the arrangements and go as far as consulting a specialist doctor (podiatrist) to see if it is necessary to use insoles to improve your strides and avoid back pain.
The role of the specialist is also to inform you if you are “pronator” or “supinator” to help you make a better choice of shoes to minimize any possible problems related to the foot during the preparation.
The socks must meet the marathon conditions
These socks can be purchased from the same specialty store.
You have to buy a pair of double texture socks.
These will protect the toes and spare them from being crushed.
Better, with the double texture, your toes will not be painful during training.
You need to have a heart monitor
The heart plays an essential role in the marathon.
You have to match your requirements and especially according to your age.
It is essential to keep your pace.
To determine the heart rate, subtract your age from the number 220.
Assuming you are 30, your maximum beat per minute should be 190.
During exercise, it should vary between 50 and 85% of this maximum.
The individual may not be athletic and his heart rate might go quickly over 90%.
In such a case, another preparation is required to normalize the beat rate by regular jogging practice.
The goal is to get your heart used to the exercise first before starting the actual marathon program.
In such situations, the use of a doctor or a cardiologist is a good precaution.
When the monitor shows a heart rate of over 90% of your maximum during training, you should either slow down and start walking or take a break to decrease the pace to an acceptable level.
During training, you need to stay hydrated.
The hydration belt or bottle holder is an essential accessory to wear on you to quench your thirst.
Long-distance sessions require the body to get water because perspiration empties the body of water and quickly exposes you to fatigue and stress.
The marathon runner must keep a preparation schedule
Most of the time, the individual ignores their actual and current skills before considering going to a marathon.
The first criterion to allow yourself to run a marathon is to be able to run for 30 minutes without stopping and preferably being capable of running fifteen kilometers straight.
If you are not capable of meeting these two criteria, you need to set up a 10-kilometer pre-preparation program or a half-marathon to prepare for the actual marathon.
It’s about giving yourself more time for preparation.
When the conditions for starting are met, you can establish an 18-week marathon preparation program.
Opt for long outings
When the runner decides to train by long races, he must have a sense of engagement.
These long outings are obligations to gradually conform your system to the demanding conditions of the marathon.
The first long race must be fifteen kilometers.
Each new week, you will have to commit to adding 1.5 km each time during the 18 weeks.
However, the trap of speed performance should be avoided.
The most important thing is to run at a slow, but continuous and sustained pace.
Sometimes the distance to travel is too difficult, but in such a case, you should not stop.
Instead, you have to start walking for a while and resume your running as soon as possible.
The candidate must avoid at all costs a long race the last week before the date of the marathon.
Make medium outings followed by short outings
Apart from long outings, it is necessary to plan medium and short outings consecutively.
The goal is to do 2 short distance sessions of 5 km per week.
Cardiovascular functions are improved.
These short sessions can last for 4 weeks.
At the end of these 4 weeks, you have to start an average distance of 10 kilometers, but this time at a higher pace.
At this stage of training, you should start by feeling that you are capable of facing the marathon since the average distances give you confidence in yourself.
It is strictly forbidden to walk at this stage of preparation.
What you need to do is start the short and medium sessions at a slow pace and increase your speed as you go along.
After these sessions, stretching is vital to relieve the body of acids and prevent the muscles from being tense or injured.
Stretching should involve the whole body, not just the legs and arms.
Preparing for a marathon requires discipline and also the candidate to take precautions in the choice of equipment.
But also to establish a proper training program to succeed without harming himself.
I wish you a fantastic preparation!