Nine Real-Life Tips for The First Time Marathon Runner

Running your first marathon can be a daunting experience. With these nine tips you’ll be sure to have an edge when you walk up at the starting line.

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Running a marathon is one of life’s most gruelling yet rewarding experiences. For the first time marathon runner however, 26.2 miles of continuous running presents a daunting if not insurmountable challenge. If you’re thinking about running your first marathon, or maybe you are currently in training for one, you’ve undoubtedly absorbed as much information as possible regarding what to expect and how to achieve this life goal.

In chronological order, here are nine tips unlikely to be found in any book for someone about to embark on their first marathon.

Two Months To Go – Surface Work And Why You Should Not Shun The Treadmill

There are numerous books and websites that will tell you that the secret to finishing a marathon starts many months before the actual race. If you are aiming for a four hour marathon – a respectable time for any first-timer – you need to be running consistently for months before the big day. Though there is no magic point in time when you should start training for a marathon, the general guideline is that four months of focused training should get you safely over the line.

The problem with this theory is that most books will tell you that you must run in conditions similar to the actual race. Though training in a similar climate and at an appropriate elevation to the actual marathon are paramount in your preparation, with the average marathon training schedule consisting of hundreds of miles of running, training on just pavement could damage your body. The last thing you want is, come race-day, your knees, feet or shins to have been compromised due to your training routine that results in a sub-par performance during the actual marathon.

Alternate your runs between road-work and using a treadmill. Your knees will thank you when the race is over. Running on grass can be beneficial though it does tend to sap some of your energy. Beach work is also a good idea as it builds endurance but don’t overdo it as the surface has a tendency to quickly tire inexperienced runners and be almost de-motivational.

Top tip: Remember, treadmills have inclines too! When running on a treadmill you should always be at least a 2° incline. Vary this level during your work-out to simulate terrain including the all important running downhill.

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