People tend to think that running a marathon is impossible. However, if you train yourself properly and also focus on nutrition and overall well-being, it is entirely possible. If you work towards building yourself up to running 26.2 miles, it will be difficult, but you can do it.
Find a Training Program
Marathon training will take up a good portion of your life, especially when you do training runs that go for 20 or more miles. These runs can take hours, and you can expect to be exhausted when you are finished with them, making you useless for the rest of the day. It is important then, to find a training program you can live with. Good training programs scaffold, or build on themselves. You should be running about four days a week, with three shorter runs and one longer run. When you start out, you will be running short runs for three days with a longer run on the fourth. During your training, these shorter runs will get longer, as well as the long runs too. This means that eventually you will be running 20 miles or more on some days. If your training program demands you to run 20 miles on a day you work, you may not be able to accomplish it. Choose a program that works with your schedule, and you will be much more successful.
Treadmill versus Outside
Since you will be running the marathon outside, you will want to do much of your training outside. However, you don’t want to run in the rain because this can ruin your shoes and add unnecessary weight in the form of water on your clothes. It can also be a miserable experience to run very far in the rain. If it's raining, you can combine outdoor running with treadmill running, or run all of it on a treadmill. It’s also possible for you to run the next day, which you must.
Rest days are as important as training days. If you don’t rest, your body will not be able to heal itself and you won’t be able to run for very long. In fact, you can risk injury if you run too much. If you must be active, cross-training such as walking or weightlifting can give you a workout without straining the muscles you need for running.
Proper nutrition is just as important as training. If your body isn’t fueled, you won’t be able to keep going. Carbs and protein are very important, as well as energy bars and other aids while you are running. Be sure to drink sports drinks and water, as you don’t want to dehydrate. Also, eat when you are hungry. Training for a marathon will burn many extra calories, so if you are feeling hungry, you probably need more food than you’re used to eating.
Support of Family and Friends
Never underestimate the support of your family and friends. As you are running, your family is at home carrying out your responsibilities. They will help you cook the food you need and take care of things around the house, while you are training. They will also cheer you on, if you ask them to. Do not forget this; moral support is just as important as anything you could do to train for the event. Be sure to thank those who were there for you. Training for a marathon can be hard on family members too, but it never hurts to show your appreciation.