4 Tips For Preparing For Your First Marathon
Preparing for your first marathon is like— well, preparing for your first marathon! There’s nothing quite like it. The nervousness, excitement, and anticipation is entirely unique. You’ll be up against some serious competitors, and people who have been doing marathons for years.
This can be intimidating, not to mention it can be downright dangerous to run for extended periods of time if your body isn’t well prepared. To help you prepare for your first marathon, here are some of the best tips to keep in mind.
Although preparing for a marathon it’s undoubtedly physical, it’s also incredibly mental. You’ll need to prepare yourself psychologically for the challenge ahead of you in order to keep on going.
It’s important that you take care of your body as much as possible leading up to the race. Fill up your tub, get in, take a hot bath and take a deep breath. Light candles and listen to soothing music, and get plenty of rest. Do whatever it takes to treat your body like a temple. The more you practice self-care leading up to the race, the less likely you’ll be to burn out prematurely before the finish line.
This is an obvious one, but nonetheless necessary. It’s critical that you drink plenty of water before, during and after the race, and never carbonated. Many running experts recommend hydrating well before the day of the race. Referred to as loading water, you should drink plenty at least a week leading up to the race to ensure you have all the hydration you need for the big day.
Yes, that means you might be taking more trips to the bathroom, but that’s a good thing in the big picture. Once you start running, you’ll feel less need to go to the bathroom as the water will be sweated out through your skin.
Eat Plenty of Protein
Loading up on carbs is a popular method amongst athletes. However, protein is one of the best ways to build up muscle and get ready for a strenuous sport like running. Leading up to your marathon you should eat plenty of variants of protein, from eggs, to fish, to red meat. In addition to providing protein, certain meat also contains iron which is an important part of preparing your body for long distance running. You may even want to supplement your diet with additional iron pills if your doctor agrees.
Avoid High Fats
If you want to load up on fats after the race as a reward for your efforts, then feel free. However, leading up to the race you should avoid heavy fatty foods as it will only weigh you down. Not only can it leave you feeling sluggish, but it could also lead to weight gain. As a runner, the leaner and lighter you are, the faster you’ll run.