It’s almost impossible to find a person who isn’t thirsty for achievements — from simple tasks such as cleaning up your house to changing the world for the better, accomplishing something is an exhilarating feeling! It makes the struggles worth it because your hard work finally paid off. Like any other grueling activity, finishing a marathon is an achievement to be proud of. But preparing for a marathon is not something anyone should take in stride — it’s challenging and exhausting.
So here are ways you can prepare your mind and body.
How You Can Prepare for a Marathon
Which marathon do you want to complete?
Marathons come in different distances. The Los Angeles Marathon — which will take place on March 19 (with the Dodger Stadium as its starting point) — for instance, is 26.2 miles long. But there are also other types of races. Like the 10K marathon (6.21 miles), half marathon (13.1 miles), and ultramarathon (races over 26.2 miles). Thus, if you’re participating in these events, think about whether or not you have enough time to prepare yourself physically and mentally.
Are you physically capable?
We’re not outright debunking the saying that “anything is possible.” However, you have to evaluate your own body. Check your endurance level. Do you truly believe you have what it takes? — and don’t be ashamed to say “no.” You may just not have enough time to practice. Plus, that means you’re thinking about your body. Because you’re listening to it! Ultimately, you’re taking care of yourself by doing that.
Get a medical clearance
Is your doc fully on board with the idea that you’re participating in a marathon? Yes, most medical professionals will say that cardiovascular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body. However, your physician still knows best. You might have a condition that may hinder you from accomplishing the race.
A little dry run
If your doctor gives you the go signal to participate in a marathon, you can then get your marathon shoes ready. It’s not wise to “save up” your energy for the big day — your body needs to get used to exerting extra effort to signal that it’s your default level of physical activity. Also, make sure you’ve broken into your marathon running shoes and they’re comfy to wear! Wearing the wrong pair of shoes can cause injuries.
Even non-marathon runners know that hydration is vital to a person’s health — and marathon runners can definitely use a few (or a whole lot more) ounces of it! However, many forget to drink more water in marathons because they’re so caught up in getting close to the finish line. Thus, before you compete in one, make it a habit to have a bottle with you all the time. The weather is also unpredictable — you might end up participating in one on a hot and sunny day.
How are you preparing — mentally?
Bodybuilders, powerlifters, and weightlifters have what they call an “ego lifter.” For the sake of having a marathon equivalent, let’s use “ego marathoner” to describe those who participate in events like that without proper mental and physical preparation. This goes without saying that being an “ego marathoner” isn’t a cool identification. Again, listen to your body. Though it’s okay to quit midway, the disappointment may bother you afterward.
Going to a race without confidence also won’t do you good. If you allow anxiety and denial to get the best of you, the “should’ve, could’ve, would’ve” voice in you may also haunt you. If you know you can, and your physical self is in good shape, you can push yourself a little harder for that literal extra mile!
To Wrap It All Up
It’s not easy to prepare for a marathon — but that’s what makes completing one even more thrilling! To push your body to the limit? That’s something not everyone can do. And you have the chance to do it. But make sure your physician says that you can indeed run in a marathon. Other than that, preparing for one means your body has to be conditioned and your will is strong (without the bravado).
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