Almost every amateur running club, not to mention the hundreds of people who run for themselves in the mornings in the parks, asks how to run a marathon. 42 km for a “newbie” seems like an incredible self-subjugation, a test of patience, a test of strength, an opportunity to learn something new and change your life once and for all.
The motivation and the words may be different, but they are all based on one thing: to conquer the marathon distance by all means. In addition, the decision to participate and register for a marathon can be delayed at the most unexpected moment: a promise to oneself for the new year, for a bet or company among friends, in a hurry to prove something to someone, or simply because there is nothing to do.
What is a marathon
Imagination is idealistic in many ways and paints a beautiful picture in which marathon runners, including you, heroically overcome the distance, experience incredible buzz and joy at the finish line, proudly display a weight medal , tell for the hundredth time how they ran, and that now everything is them will be different. But few people realize: what is a marathon really?
First of all, a marathon isn’t skydiving, it’s not like an hour of flying in a wind tunnel, jumping headfirst off a bridge, or surfing. Forget adrenaline, endless euphoria and incredible lightness. You will first have several months or even a year of training, then 4 to 6 hours alone with yourself on the competition track.
42 km is also not like pleasant evening tango or salsa lessons, capoeiro and fitness in a comfortable gym. You expect street weather, lots of asphalt (park, lucky one), sweat and tired legs.
The marathon, like any preparation, is very monotonous, monotonous and boring in its own way. You need to do similar workouts every day, “rack up” miles, restructure your life so that you fit a few high-speed and a few long sessions a week into your schedule.
All of this will cost something, and something will have to be sacrificed: socializing with friends, time with family, other hobbies, or just doing nothing, and maybe all at once.
The marathon does not depend on luck, nothing is decided by chance, it cannot be run well by chance. If you are unwilling to sacrifice yourself, your time to some extent, if you are lazy and hope to make it work somehow, you are dooming yourself to pain and suffering in advance. .
The holidays will end soon enough for you if you have not given in to the austerity of the marathon in time or if you have not fallen into the hands of a good coach. Yes, it will be joyful in the crowd at the start, among people in bright and beautiful uniforms, then for a few more kilometers in the friendly company of runners, but it will quietly clear up, and now you and the marathon are already one on one.
What kind of test it is, your knees, your ligaments, your cardiovascular system will find out. Long exhausting miles, malaise, dehydration, abdominal pain and the urge to stop everything – this is what a test of willpower looks like in real life.
Would you like to repeat it? Will you remember it or will you try to forget it quickly? Will it finally change your life? Probably not. After having attempted such a marathon once, you will try to resume your normal daily life as soon as possible, and, at best, when you hear about the marathon, you will answer: “Yes, that was it! Nothing!”
But why, then, do hundreds of thousands of runners around the world put on marathon running shoes every day? Why is it possible to participate in prestigious marathons only by winning the lottery? How do you get everything really worth running a marathon?
The most important rule is: don’t rush! Give yourself time, let the marathon slowly enter your life. Start running systematically, alone or with a trainer. If you’re a complete newbie to running, don’t plan on starting 42K for a year of running. Preparing for a marathon takes a lot of time, but you have to start small.
I love running!
Have fun, try short distances of 5k, 10k, run a few half marathons when you’re ready. Choose departures with good organization, soak up their atmosphere and recharge your motivation. See how strong runners run and train. Discuss running with loved ones, invite them to your runs, ask for their support and surround yourself with understanding. After all, your marathon will touch them.
In addition to 21 km competitions, there are also 30 km races, they are not so many, but they are also worth participating in, gradually leading you to a marathon. In addition to the practice of running, it will be useful to strengthen the musculoskeletal system. General physical training and running exercises – all with the aim of strengthening the ligaments, strengthening the back and abs, pumping up the feet! One race is not enough here!
If during the year you systematically work on yourself, watch your weight and daily routine, strictly follow training, then the marathon will not remain in debt and will become an important and bright event for you. This is a very fair and rewarding distance: whatever is invested will definitely pay off in full!
Most of the above applies to more experienced athletes who already run but have never tried and want to run their first marathon. Do not hurry! Run some mileage, set more personal bests over adjacent distances, work hard at strength training at least 1-2 times a week.
You are 4-6 months away from your first marathon. Use this time to your advantage so that at the start of the marathon your inner voice says: “I can! And after crossing the finish line, you realized that you not only succeeded, but that you did it well!
Even professional athletes, with rare exceptions, do not come to the marathon right away: many of them have long and successfully performed on other shorter distances. And amateur distance running is good because you can run, improve gradually, improve results, even starting at a fairly advanced age. And there are hundreds of successful examples of this!
Don’t rush things, run for fun, take care of your health and be proud of your very good starts!
To read on the subject: Top 10 Beginner Runner Mistakes
Alena Dyatlova, Mikhail Pitertsev
Photo: Moscow Marathon