What are the Best Marathon Training Tips?

Dan Cavallari

Marathons have proven themselves as grueling yet very popular running races, and as many novices find out the hard way, they require proper training and preparation so the runner can avoid injury or loss of stamina during the race. Marathon training tips include running longer distances in the months leading up to the race, and tapering off the training as the race approaches to allow the muscles to recover and prepare for the long 26.2 mile (42.2 kilometer) race. Keeping a log book of miles run during training is one of the more important marathon training tips that allow the runner to track his or her progress and determine what type of training still needs to be done.

Streamlined sunglasses can help protect the eyes while running.
Streamlined sunglasses can help protect the eyes while running.

In the months leading up to the race, the runner should be running several times a week. One of those runs should be a higher mileage run, in which the runner covers approximately half to three quarters of the marathon distance. This allows the runner's muscles to prepare for the strain of running long distances. These runs are also a good opportunity to take advantage of one of the other important marathon training tips: testing out one's gear. On training runs, the runner can determine if his or her running shoes fit properly and will be comfortable during the race, and he or she can determine if the clothing being worn is effective at wicking moisture and keeping the body temperature under control. On can test out different water bottles, heart rate monitors, sunglasses, and visors as well.

Runners must train for a marathon.
Runners must train for a marathon.

Other marathon training tips focus on one's diet. A diet rich in carbohydrates is essential for a marathon runner, and keeping most fat out of one's diet can also help the runner perform more efficiently. Carbohydrates are easily converted to usable energy, while fats take much longer to turn into usable energy, making them a poor choice for high intensity activities. One should remember to eat plenty of carbohydrates the day before the race to ensure plenty of energy stores the morning of the race. Eat light the day of the race to prevent stomachaches or cramps, but be sure to eat something. One should never run on an empty stomach, and if possible, the runner should eat while running the race.

Long-distance runners pay attention to their heart rate while they exercise.
Long-distance runners pay attention to their heart rate while they exercise.

Drinking plenty of fluids is one of the common but often overlooked marathon training tips. This includes drinking plenty of water during the race, but also the day before as well as after the race. Hydration helps prevent cramping and improves the flow of oxygen to the muscles, which improves stamina and performance. Specially formulated sports drinks can also keep the body hydrated, but be sure to avoid drinks with too much sugar in them.

Marathon runners may consume sports drinks to stay hydrated.
Marathon runners may consume sports drinks to stay hydrated.
Staying properly hydrated can help individuals to avoid cramps while running.
Staying properly hydrated can help individuals to avoid cramps while running.
People training for a marathon may use a running program.
People training for a marathon may use a running program.
While training for a marathon, it might be a nice idea to try different locations each day.
While training for a marathon, it might be a nice idea to try different locations each day.
Listening to music can help pass the time while running in a marathon.
Listening to music can help pass the time while running in a marathon.

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