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11 Tips to Help You Successfully Run Your First Marathon

By HERWriter
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These 11 Tips Can Help You Successfully Run Your First Marathon kasto/Fotolia

Do you dream of running a marathon? Wondering if you'd have what it takes? Running 26.2 miles may seem overwhelming, but with the right plan, it’s possible. Here are 11 tips for running your first marathon.

1) Tell people.

Making yourself accountable to the people you tell means it’s really happening.

2) Set a goal.

WebMD suggests that you ask yourself, why do you want to run a marathon? Newbie marathoners might decide to make it more about finishing the race and having a good experience, and less about winning.

3) Give yourself enough time to train.

The biggest mistakes made by newbie marathoners are starting too fast, and with too much mileage. BusinessInsider.com recommends training for 12 to 14 weeks for a half-marathon, and 18 to 20 weeks for a marathon.

4) Have a training plan.

To prevent injury, your training play should gradually build up endurance and mileage, and should incorporate rest. Find a basic marathon training plan online, or in running magazines. Make sure the plan works with your life and normal routine.

5) Cross-train.

Run every other day. Fill in the gaps with rest and cross-training. These can include cycling, rowing or swimming. Twice a week, try strength training like weight training, Pilates or yoga.

6) Monitor your heart rate.

RunnersWorld.com advises that you take your resting heart rate before getting out of bed each morning. After several days, you will have your baseline number. Continue to monitor it. Your resting heart rate will decrease as your fitness improves.

Take note though — if your resting heart rate increases by 10 percent or higher above your normal resting pulse, take it easy or rest that day.

7) Mentally prepare yourself.

Accept and understand that training for your first marathon will be difficult, but acknowledge that you can do it. Commit to your training plan and follow through over the challenging weeks and months ahead.

8) Learn about the course and conditions for race day.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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