(Closed) I want to train for a marathon! Give me your best tips :)

posted 7 years ago in Fitness
Post # 3
3220 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

I want to follow this thread– SO and I keep saying we’re going to start running!


Post # 5
7587 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2010

If you get pedicures, stop. You’ll need the tough skin on your feet. They will bleed and blister so one of the best things you can do is invest in a great pair of running shoes. They will be pricey but worth it.

Post # 6
1448 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I’ve run two marathons; giving yourself two years to train is a sound way to go for a first full.  I would pick your marathon now though so you can take advantage of early-bird sign-up discounts.

Hal Higdon is really popular for first-time marathoners, but I think I like Jeff Galloway’s run-walk program better.  Another thing I’ve read is to do things in monthly cycles; three weeks of training, and one week of less distance/intensity.  Rest is really important to avoid injuries.

One thing that’s really popular among first-time marathoners is Team-in-Training; there are coaches to help you train and then they run the race with you.  So you meet a lot of people to run with and you have someone there to “keep you honest” about training.  I wouldn’t sign up for this until next year though.

When I was running more often than I do now (which is never!  πŸ™ ) I would run a few “warm up” 5Ks in the spring, transition to half marathons in the summer (I think I ran 4 or 5 halfs in one year – crazy!) and then do my full marathon in the fall.  I’d take it easy in the winters.  This really worked for me, but I know a lot of people who still run a lot of miles in the winter.

If your target is fall 2013, I would work on just getting used to running this year and maybe doing your first half this fall.  You want to have a good “base” to start from when you begin your real training next year.

Getting the right shoes is very important.  I’ve had some trouble with shoes I’ve gotten at Road Runner Sports, but you might have better luck there or at a smaller, independant running store.  Or you can get a podiatrist or physical therapist to evaluate how much your pronate.

Doing some sort of cross training is important to keep your muscles in balance and avoid injury.  I really liked adding a yoga session or a couple cycling sessions in for this.  (Cycling and Running are considered “balanced” excercises because they each develop what the other activity ignores for the most part)

I hope these ideas help!

Post # 7
891 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I 2nd the tip to stop getting pedicures. To go along with that, keep your toe nails nice and short. I had alot of issues with mine when I started running because they were a bit longer. I

Also, good socks are just as important as good shoes. You want to run in socks that are really breathable and actually provide some support, no just ones that cover your feet. Get some epsom salt as well. It really helps when you start to develop “runner feet” as I like to call them.

Post # 8
5475 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I’m training for my first full marathon as well.  Unfortunately I broke my toe so my training plan has been set back, but I still have 10 weeks before the race.  I ran a half marathon in November, which was my second race of that distance.

Shoes & socks are of the utmost importance.  A running specialty store will be able to asses your footstrike, stride, and gait to get you a pair of shoes that will work for YOUR feet.  I figured out what kind of shoe I needed to be in, and when it was time to replace them (after about 300 miles) I ordered the exact same shoe on zappos.com for about $50 cheaper.  I like JoxSox, they are a blend not just cotton so much more breathable & I don’t really get blisters.  Toenails short, and once you get higher up in mileage stop wearing heels.  They are bad for you anyway but they just look so dern cute!  I do avoid them once I am in training mode, and save the cute shoes for off-season.

I’d also invest in some good sports bras & moisture-wicking shirts & pants.  I like the capri length pants at Target, but prefer underarmour coldweather gear shirts for winter training.  Make sure your clothes are fitted enough that they don’t rub or chafe you while running.  They should be light and breathable πŸ™‚

If you run after dark, carry a whistle, a mini-pepper spray, wear a reflective vest, headlamp, and reflective ankle bands too.  Most of that stuff can be picked up fairly cheap at Target or any sporting goods store.  I also got a handheld water bottle to carry with me on long runs so I don’t have to stop for water.  I tried a belt one but HATED the way it bounced around so I went handheld and love it.

Cross training is awesome.  I like to do at least one weightlifting class, one yoga class, and one spin class every week.  Avoid high impact aerobics as your cross training since it stresses your joints similarly to running which is what you’re trying to avoid by cross training.  Yoga is amaaaaaazing for runners, and I wish I could do more than once a week.  Swimming is also great.

Holy Moly my post is loooong- sorry!  Just one more thing I promise:  log your workouts.  Total your weekly mileage to keep track of everything and make notes about how you’re feeling.  You’ll be able to catch overtraining injuries sooner and you’ll also be able track mileage on your shoes so you don’t let them get too broken down.  A running diary is your best friend!!!!

Best of luck!!

Post # 10
5475 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@Ryansgirl: start with something like Couch to 5k… it is exactly what is sounds like & is built to help someone train from being sedentary to successfully completing a 5k without overtraining, starting off with too much too quickly, or getting overuse injuries.  I’m sure there’s even an app for it πŸ™‚

Post # 11
229 posts
Helper bee

Yay, what an exciting goal! I echo the advice above– just going to add a couple things (from someone who find the “mental” part of long runs sometimes taxing πŸ™‚

Be sure to set smaller goals/milestones for yourself. Definitely do some shorter races– it makes the whole process of training seem more real and is so energizing. ALSO, be sure to have plenty of variety in your routes. Switching it up keeps it exciting for me, and also ensures that I get used to running very hilly routes as well as very flat ones. You can go out on a bike or in a car if you want to figure out routes beforehand. 

Also, side note– I eat waaaaay more when I am training. (Be prepared to buy more food! πŸ˜‰ But seriously, you’ll want to be sure that you’re fueling your body properly, especially when you get into the longer distances. I’d recommend doing some reading on nutrition/hydration. I used to have problems with stomach cramps/nausea after long distances, and it wound up being something that I could alleviate simply by managing what I ate and drank before, during, and after running. 

Best wishes, and have fun! 

Post # 12
293 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

My best piece of advice is for the days when you don’t feel like running at all–you’d rather sleep, eat, snuggle on the couch with some chocolate…

JUST GO.  Stop thinking about how much you don’t want to do it and put your shoes on and go..

I always feel better once I’m out the door and moving.

Good luck!  Once you have run a marathon, no one can take it away from you!

Post # 13
171 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

you’ve gotten some great advice so far! I love the marathon distance, and I’m currently in training for my 9th. I agree that you should work up your training distance slowly. Since you said you’re new to running, start off with the couch to 5k program, then move on to 10k, half and full marathon training programs. Get fitted for proper running shoes, replace them every 300-400 miles, and have fun! While not vital, it’s mentally very helpful to run other races while you’re training. It gets you used to race day logistics and you learn about general racing etiquette.

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