What it Takes to Run a Marathon
The signs are everywhere. It seems like there’s a new one springing up every few weeks. Everyone is doing it. Why not you? You can start small….a 5K is a great place to start. Then a 10k. Work yourself up and eventually you can do it...you can run a full length marathon at 26.2 miles.
So what does it take to run a marathon? Training for a marathon is a given. Good shoes, sure. Nice running pants, maybe one of those nice UnderArmor shirts that everyone seems to have. But what a marathon really requires is motivation. Without motivation, that marathon can’t happen. 26.2 miles is a lot of miles for a person to be pounding pavement. If you don’t actually want to do it, then you’ll never cross that finish line.
So let’s talk.
There are numerous training programs out there for marathons. One of the biggest is Couch to 5K (http://www.c25k.com/). Couch to 5k is a great program that starts the runner off slow and then works up to running a full 5K. You’re able to connect to other runners via social media right from the app on your phone. The biggest note about training? Get out there and get running! There’s no such thing as starting too soon. If you’re going from a sedentary lifestyle to running, make sure you pace yourself. Start out with brisk walks and then move into a jog.
Stretching is super important! Get your muscles warmed up and your blood pumping to prevent injury. A torn hamstring is no joke! You should make sure to stretch before and after a run. Make sure you’re drinking enough water during your day. Water will help ease muscles and joints after a strenuous workout.
The big one here is shoes. Running a marathon can be brutal if your shoes don’t fit correctly. Check your label and make sure you try the shoes on before you buy them. Each shoe will be marked with a size - make sure you get the correct size in both shoes! People have been known to put shoes in the wrong box. Shoes are really well labeled - check the box and make sure the pair you’re considering are meant for running. They’ll give you the support and endurance needed for that marathon that you simply won’t find in a pair of walking shoes.
Make sure you have a good pair of running pants or shorts. There are a ton of brands out there that work excellently - it’s all about what you’re looking for. Both Target and Wal-mart carry excellent workout clothes. Ladies - spend that extra money on the sports bra. If you’re wearing the same bra you bought 6 months ago (or longer!) you’re going to want to invest in a new one to keep the ladies in check.
This is perhaps the most important part of training for a marathon. You have to be motivated to get up off the couch and take that first step. Even if you start out with a brisk walk every other day, that’s a beginning. If you lack the motivation to run a 5K, you simply won’t do it.
So what’s your plan for running that marathon? Do you have a special one in mind? Tell us in the comments!