Being part of a marathon run is as fulfilling as it sounds. There is nothing better than signing up for a marathon if you want to test your limits, support a good cause, or just love running. But if this is your first time, here are 8 tips to keep in mind before lacing up those running shoes, and if this is not your first time, here are 8 tips you wish you had known before you made your marathon debut.
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1. Get A Health Check Up
Pay a visit to your doctor and make sure you are in tip-top shape. If you have a tricky knee or a weak hip, then running a marathon might not be a good idea. You also need to make sure that your blood sugar and pressure levels are under control. If you are asthmatic, anemic or suffer from heart diseases, then you better sit this one out- running marathons is not for you.
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2. Choose The Right Time
The time of year the marathon is happening is a bit of a big deal as your training requires a lot of outdoor running, which may pose a problem during chilly winters or scorching summers. Choose a marathon depending on whether you are comfortable training in the cold or heat.
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3. Make A Plan That Suits You
Work out a 12-20 week training plan based on what’s best for you. Some people get the best results out of traditional; training plan that involves running five times a weeks. While others may benefit from limiting the runs to 2 or 3 per week and making up for the rest with cross-training sessions. Stick to what works out for you the best. But remember that marathons require a lot of hard work and commitment.
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4. Stick To A Balanced Diet
Needless to say, it is important that you stick to a balanced diet. If you are unsure of what exactly you should consume, seek the advice of a dietitian. Make sure you include a lot of proteins, calcium, potassium and magnesium in your diet. More importantly, drink lots of water and fresh juices. The training sessions are bound to drain you, so it is necessary that you keep yourself well hydrated.
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5. Bid Goodbye To Alcohol For A While
Alcohol might bring down your metabolism and also shoot up your junk food cravings, which is not exactly a great combination while training for a marathon. It is recommended that you put your alcohol consumption on hold until you have completed your marathon.
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6. Smoking, A Strict No
Just like drinking, smoking is another habit you should kick if you have plans to run a marathon. Smoking can affect your stamina, making you breathless and weak. Why not give your cig a break while you deal with your cravings the healthy way; running.
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7. Learn To Stretch
Stretching is very important when it comes to running long distances. Practice yoga and other stretching exercises twice or thrice a week to make your body more flexible and strong. Practicing yoga will also help you concentrate better thus enabling you to control your mind and body effectively.
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8. Sleep Well
Getting good rest every day is as important as training well. Make sure you are not sleep deprived or tired during your training period. This means going to bed early and putting a hold on those late night-outs and partying sessions.