Training for a marathon can be a stressful experience, especially for new runners. It is important to prepare properly and learn to manage the stress, possible anxiety and fear and actually be able to still have a life while at it. Here is how to get ready for a marathon and at the same time be able to go on with your normal activities, work and family obligations:
Make sure you are committed to your training regimen
If you are following a regular training or running regimen already, it will be much easier to prepare for a marathon. Exercising or running 4 to 6 times per week is going to make things much less stressful and much easier for you. So, sticking to a regular running or cross-training schedule on a weekly basis is crucial. Of course, when you start training for a marathon, the emphasis should be on the running. Try out running longer differences, as well as slow and fast running. Being physically prepared by your weekly exercise program will definitely help. If you are not used to regular physical exercise, jumping into marathon training will be more difficult and can cause stress to your body.
Make sure you don’t overdo it with bigger distances
In many cases, regular running at shorter distances can be more effective than pushing yourself to run longer distances all the time. Adding too many miles to your daily runs can stress your body,
lead to overtraining and cause injuries. Try to train by running comfortable distances which will help you prepare your body safely and gradually for your race. Getting a coach, or adding no more than 10% of the mileage to your runs per week is a safe way to go without stressing the body and risking injuries from overuse. Also - don’t forget to stay hydrated and consider getting a hydration pack.
Make a training schedule to allow for other activities
Make sure you keep in mind any vacations, family or work events and other important dates in your life when planning your training program for your marathon. Unless you are a professional runner, running and training should not be the top priority of your life. You need to balance between your other obligations, family and work time too. So, even if you are going on a business trip or a vacation, you can still run, but make sure you set your mileage goals and running timeline, so that your training doesn’t interfere with your life. Don't forget the right footwear for exercise – visit our website Comfort Hacks if you need specific footwear.
Also, make sure you schedule your runs for the time of day when it will not hinder the other chores and activities you have planned. Getting up earlier than usual and pre-dawn or early running could be a good option for those who need time for other chores later on in the day. Set a time limit for your run, and stick to it - do not run more or less for that particular run. This will allow you to be able to plan the rest of your day and will help you lead your life as you normally do when you are not training for a marathon.
If you can - ask your loved ones or running buddies to join you
Spend more time with your family and friends when training for a marathon by asking them to join you for your runs or other exercises. You can go to the gym together or play basketball in the backyard. This will also keep them involved in your pursuit as well as motivate you to perform better due to the support and approval of your hard work. Also, make sure that you communicate your needs to your support network, so that they can help you stick to your training program and run the marathon. You will probably need help with some of the chores at home and at work while training and racing, so make sure you have pre-arranged all that before the race.
Enjoy your marathon preparation
Since this is supposed to be a hobby for most runners, training and participating in a marathon should be an enjoyable experience for you. If you are too stressed you can lose the joy of running. Also, be ready to do some sacrifices and to be able to handle skipping a run or a training session because of unexpected work or family-related events and needs too. Running is supposed to be fun, so you need to find the proper balance: train properly and yet be able to enjoy the other things in your life as well!
Written by: Cara Haley