It doesn’t matter if you’ve raced a marathon before or if you’re training for your first one; there are always fresh things to discover about the 26.2 mile race. This week, I’m the one being interviewed on how to best prepare ready for your first marathon.
In 2008, I participated in my first New York City Marathon. Although it was something of a fiasco, replete with the famous “bonk at mile 20,” it was also a tremendous educational opportunity.
My first marathon was an eye-opening event that taught me to appreciate the magnitude of the challenge and the importance of preparation and dedication. It’s impossible to compare a marathon to any other competition. Its duration necessitates not just a more meticulous approach to nutrition than a 10k or even a half marathon, but also a continuously tougher effort than many longer-distance ultramarathons.
My first marathon training details are discussed in this week’s episode of the Vegan Body Coach podcast, which was recorded with Jaxon Burton. You can’t just “cram” for a marathon; you need to work on your strength, endurance, and speed over time in order to perform at your best.
You shouldn’t rush your first marathon.
It was a humbling experience for the 25-year-old me who assumed she’d cruise through her first marathon. Thankfully, improvements in equipment and methods of training have resulted in quicker and more efficient marathons.
In order to run a marathon successfully and avoid injury, there are two crucial things that should not be overlooked:
- Organizational framework for training
- Training to build muscle
However, as we discuss on the podcast, all training plans include a combination of easy running, long runs, and workouts, though the specific amounts and types may vary greatly depending on your degree of expertise. Your training should be gradual enough to help you improve your aerobic capacity without jeopardizing the health of your skeletal system (bones, tendons, joints, etc.).
Your body has to be prepared for the increased miles required to run a good marathon, and strength training is the best way to do that. When you “sandwich” your runs between a dynamic warmup and strength training, you’ll get the best of both worlds: you’ll be able to improve endurance while also maintaining your physical health.
And so, Jaxon and I discuss the finer points of the marathon, such as:
- Importance of self-compassion and progressive goal setting
- The most common misunderstandings about marathon preparation
- What kinds of strength training will most benefit your running?
- The 26.2-mile marathon distance may be conquered with the right training.
- Learning to run at a comfortable pace is crucial.
- How running shorter distances might help you better understand yourself and train for a marathon.
My chat with Jaxon is fascinating if you’re thinking of running a marathon for the first time or want to improve your performance in your next race.