Running is great exercise for you, but it’s also one of the simplest exercises. Beyond a good pair of shoes, there’s no ball, teams, or courts involved. You simply lace up and start moving. Whether you just recently discovered running or it’s something you’ve been doing for years, a marathon could be the ultimate challenge.
But are you up for that challenge? Believe it or not, building up from quick jogs to an actual marathon isn’t as hard as it might seem. You just need to find a few good places to train, follow a few tips to stay safe, and then build up to that big race. Before you know it, you’ll be able to tell your friends that you ran a marathon.
Finding Places To Train
If you’re lucky, you might have a great place for running right in your hometown. But many people can find it a bit harder to plan a good route. Even if you live in the city, it’s certainly possible.
One of the best ways to find a local running route is to speak to other runners in your area. They already know what works and what doesn’t, and thanks to the Internet, it’s easier than ever to find local runners. Additionally, try doing some research online to find pedestrian-friendly routes in your areas.
If you live close enough to a park or wilderness area, you can train there as well. In fact, you can get a lot of benefits running on trails. The uneven surface helps develop stabilizer muscles in your body, and the varied elevation can help you more with managing hills and slopes. Although a marathon will probably avoid big hills, running them for practice can still develop the muscles and fitness you need for training.
Staying Safe On Race Day
Running doesn’t have the health risks that sports like football or even cycling have, but you still need to be smart about your route running. Cars, pedestrians, and cyclists can be a hazard for you, and you want to share the road (or trail) responsibly. That’s why you should avoid wearing earphones. It’s tempting to enjoy some music while running, but this will only make it harder to hear what’s going on around you.
Another concern is your personal safety. Many people run alone, and sometimes at night. Whether you’re in the country, suburbs, or city, you need to protect yourself. Before heading out on a run, tell others where you’ll be running. Carry an ID, and your phone if at all possible. Make sure your clothes are bright (preferably reflective for night running), and be aware of the cars and people around you as you run.
Building Up To Bigger Races
You have a great route to train on, and you’re following some good safety precautions. Now, how do you get up to running a marathon?
The key is to slowly build up the distance of your running routes. If you regularly run a 10K, for example, add an extra 1 or 2 miles for the next few runs. By slowly adding mileage, you can safely build your endurance.
As the day of your marathon approaches, start cutting back on your mileage. Run about half as long, but bump up your pace. This can build up different leg muscles without overly fatiguing your system. After all, that marathon will take a lot out of you.
You Can Run A Marathon
Going from a quick job to a marathon isn’t something that’s going to happen in a month. It takes time to do it right. That being said there’s no reason why you can’t follow these tips and get your first marathon under your belt.