There is always something new to learn about running a marathon, whether you’ve done it before or are nervously preparing for your first attempt. This week, I’m the one being interviewed on how to best prepare ready for your first marathon.
My first marathon was in New York in 2008, and it was an amazing experience. While the typical “bonk at mile 20” was a part of the experience, the race itself was a great learning opportunity despite its less than ideal outcomes.
My first marathon was an eye-opening experience that taught me the importance of preparation and dedication to a goal. There really simply no comparison to the marathon. It’s longer than a 10k or a half marathon, so you’ll need to plan your fuelling accordingly, and it involves a steady level of exertion that’s on par with or more than many ultramarathons.
Jaxon Burton, of the Vegan Body Coach podcast, interviewed me for this week’s episode, and we spoke about everything you need to know to train for your first marathon. No amount of last-minute studying can make up for the fact that you need to gradually build up your strength, stamina, and speed in order to compete successfully in a marathon.
Participating in Your First Marathon Incapable of Being Hurried
When I signed up for my first marathon, at the ripe old age of 25, I had grand illusions of flying through it. Thankfully, improvements in training and technology have led to quicker and more efficient marathons in recent years.
As far as I’m aware, there are no short cuts to getting ready for a marathon, however there are two main variables that help with performance and avoiding injuries:
- Methodologies for delivering effective instruction
- Muscle building
While your mileage and training schedule may vary greatly depending on your skill level, as we explain on the podcast, all training programs include a combination of easy running, long runs, and workouts. Aerobic development can be stunted if your training isn’t gradual enough to prevent overstressing your skeletal system (bones, tendons, joints, etc.).
The key to a successful marathon is strength training, which prepares your body for the increased miles required. To maximize endurance gains while minimizing the risk of injury, try “sandwiching” your runs between a dynamic warmup and strength training.
The details of the marathon, including:
- The value of setting achievable, progressive objectives and being kind to oneself
- Common misunderstandings about marathon preparation The most beneficial forms of strength training to complement your running
- Conditioning for the 26.2-mile marathon
- Insights on the value of learning to run at a relaxed pace
- Reasons why shorter races are ideal for self-discovery and marathon training.
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 one.