Marathon Preparation

Marathon Preparation

Time Commitment

Firstly you have to ask yourself if you are able to make the commitment. It takes a large amount of time to prepare for a marathon properly. suggests a period of 26 weeks to prepare either the full or half marathon, with three workout sessions per week, one of which may eventually require several hours to complete.

This is the level of commitment that may affect your current lifestyle; those people important in your life will be more or less be affected by it.

Health Concerns

If you have or had any injuries or illnesses that may interfere with your program, you need to be practical and honest with yourself to avoid any disappointment, and more so, and injury aggravation. Check with a sport medicine physician and explain your health care concerns before establishing your distance-running goals. It may be, for example, that you need a longer build up to a half marathon than we recommend in the 26-week program, or possibly you should fist work toward a 5- or 10-kilometre event.

You are beginning a very strenuous program and you will need to ensure that you are on a healthy track to achieving your goals. Everything from nutrition to hydration and good sleeping pattern plays a part in a sound training program.

Check your physical history before you decide if you are prepared for a marathon. Ask yourself what your body has been through in the past, for example, been in a car accident, or been pregnant?

Once you start running, closely monitor the aches and pains and seek expert advice on the best form of treatment, whether it is rest or extra strength exercises.

The psychological barriers of the distance-running journey can be the greatest obstacles to overcome. However if you are up for the challenge, you should persevere through the mental challenges of a 26-week walk or run program, to prepare yourself better before you start the journey.

The Age factor

There are no accurate guidelines to determine rules and regulations concerning the safe and acceptable distances children and the ageing population should run. 14-year-olds for example, are all at different skeletal maturity. It is the skeletal age that primarily determines the type and likelihood of injury if one were to occur.

You may then be less concerned from a cardiovascular point of view, as the hearts and lungs of children and youth are easily able to adapt to the stresses of running and jogging. Experts advised that although it may be fine for a sedentary adult to train for a marathon in 6 months, it is too short a time frame for a sedentary teen. This is especially so if the teen is overweight, as severe trainings may increase his or her risk of developing a lower extremity overuse injury. A 3-month program to walk 10 km, or run 5 km is suggested. If the goal is still to run a half or full marathon, sedentary teens should give themselves at least a year of regular training.

Prior to training for the Marathon

As beginners, kicking off your training with a 10 km run for a short term goal is a good idea, keeping in mind that the half marathon will then be your long-term expedition in about two years’ time.

Apart from your own research, you may want to seek your local sports shop or running store for information relating to half or full marathon events. Do bear in mind that it is important to set aside a minimum of 26 weeks to prepare for the competition or race. It is always good and advisable to buffer an additional 2 weeks or so just in case you are down with sickness or unforeseen injury, or simply, the need for extra time in building up your physical and mental tolerance and strength.

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