Some not-so-late thoughts on your readiness for Sunday’s BIG Event! This article is not meant to discourage anyone from running – but to give you the proper perspective. Newbie note: 1 mile = 1.6 kms (that will stay to be true until somebody changed it!)
Before You Start to Train for a Marathon
So you think you're ready to start training for a marathon, huh? The marathon is the longest and most difficult race most runners ever attempt. It's also the most popular.Almost anyone can complete a marathon, but whether they can complete it without injury and without great pain and sorrow is the real test. Will you be one of those who just manages through, or one of the ones who finishes with a smile and a great outlook for the rest of the day?
How long have you been running?
Though many new programs have put new runners into marathons, this isn't what is advised. The general rule is that you need to have run regularly for 1 to 2 years before you begin training for a marathon. Why the wait? A marathon is approximately 52,400 footstrikes. This will tear away at your body, especially your joints. Your body needs to build up to this kind of abuse and a 26 week (or less) training program just doesn't suffice for most people's bodies to adapt properly.
How many miles have you been putting in?
It is advisable to put in at least 20 miles per week for several months before you start training for a marathon. The reasons are the same as those above. .Your body needs time to adapt to the pounding that it will be taking. Be sure to run at least 5 mi a week during this time on pavement, as that is likely to be what you are running on in the marathon. Training solely on a track or trail will cause you to hurt much worse after the marathon.
Have you done races before?
Before you get ideas of racing marathons, it's a good idea to try out a few smaller races, like 5ks or 10ks, even a half marathon (assuming you've trained for it). .This is important because there are many new experiences that races bring that regular training does not. If you haven't raced before you start training, be sure to work some into your schedule. Your first race ever being a marathon is a surefire way to have a tough 26.2 miles.
Do you have proper respect for the distance?
It may not seem important, but a great way to get injured is to think you can just start running long distances without the proper time and effort. Just like speed takes years of training for many people, distance isn't something you just jump into. It's important to respect the distance (and your body) by allotting the time you really need. If you are looking for instant-gratification, try a 5k. Marathons are about patience, including before the starting line.
Have you thought about the conditions? (Written for the Americans, but would definitely have an impact here)
Did you pick a race in the middle of summer in New Mexico? In February in Wisconsin? It's important to think about what race you plan to do. Very hot or very cold weather is not a great marathon to start with. Your limiting your chances of finishing. The same could be said about a very hilly course or a course that is not beginner-friendly. (You may be amazed at the amount of races that are not for beginners.) Find races that advertise they are good first marathons, like the Freescale Marathon.
Have you talked to your doctor?
This is especially important if you are going to ignore my advice about putting in a year or more of running regularly before you start training. Tell your doctor what your plan is, perhaps go over the training schedule you plan to do with him/her. They may suggest tests (like a cardiovascular stress test), give you an alternate plan, or just send you on your way to get started.
Have you done your research?
Have you read some books on marathons? Have you talked to people who have completed a marathon? Are those people still running regularly? (You might think twice about someone raving about their marathon experience if they stopped running afterward.) It's a good idea to get a lot of information before you start training. Analyze different training schedules and really think about how that training will affect your schedule. Be honest with yourself about whether you can do what is needed.
Consider why you are training.
If your goal is weight loss, and you think that marathon training is the way to get there, you are probably headed down a path to injuries. While you may lose some fat while training for a marathon, marathons and dieting are a bad mix. Your body will need nourishment now more than ever. Eating healthier, but not having much of a calorie deficit, will help you tone up, and yes lose some, during marathon training, but your major focus needs to be completing the marathon in good health.
Now that the training should have been completed and the big event is already this coming Sunday, Are you ready?
This is just a re-post VERBATIM. Found this site that has good details about it. I supplied the stresses on important points. See it here.