When I decided to run a marathon, I made the decision to just do it… I didn’t think about it, i just registered. To be honest when I made up my mind I was still training for my first half marathon.
I knew that if I had thought about it, I’d procrastinate on registering and I would figure out a million reasons why running a marathon was such a bad idea. But now that I have made the decision to do it, I think why not run a marathon? I have nothing to loose by doing it and everything to gain from it. For me it’s about focusing on the finishing the race.
Training for my first marathon, I am learning so much from it and thought I’d share with you the top 5 things that have helped me 14 weeks out to prepare myself for race day race day.
- Mindset. This has been my number one priority leading up to race day is having a positive mindset to keep myself going even when I get tired or don’t feel like running. It is easy to tell your mind all the reasons why you can’t run today. I have just trained my body to realize when an excuse comes up to just get my shoes on anyways. Having a positive attitude and giving yourself mental high fives along the way training or running will take you a long way. Another fun thing I do is when I’m out running, when I see another runner, I will give them a high five. It’s really helped give me that extra motivation to know I’m cheering other runners on and gives me a confidence boost too!
- Find a plan that fits your lifestyle. I researched, used apps, and played around with different plans. I have found that you just have find one that fits your lifestyle. As I was figuring out my training schedule 100 days out, I actually received an email from On running with a first timers guide to marathon running that had a schedule with it. It was perfect timing and I loved how it fit into my lifestyle and was simple to follow. You can check it out here.
- Strength Training. Strength training helps you perform and feel better as a runner. It helps strengthen muscles that you don’t use while running and can correct muscle imbalance that can help you run better. If you are going to run and do strength training the same day, run first then lift.
- Run a half marathon first. I am so happy I ran a half marathon first to get my feet wet before a full marathon. I learned from my mistakes with the first race and can implement what I learned in my training for the full marathon.
- Study the course. I have been to the Bay Area many times and that is why I chose San Francisco. I love the city and the sights I’ll be able to run on race day. For me, being able to run long distances with beautiful new sites along the way have helped me to become more excited about racing. I rarely look at local races because I know the area. Being able to race in a different city makes me more motivated to do it. Since I’m not from the area, I have been studying the course and some of the obstacles I might be up against like the notorious San Francisco Hills. This way I am prepared what to work on before race day.
If you have an opportunity to visit the course if your out of area before race day, that can be essential too. I recently was in San Francisco and one of the areas of the course I felt inclined to run while there was the Golden Gate Bridge. I ran the 3.5 mile from one end to the other. It was one of the areas I was most excited about but had a bit of fear of but now I know that I can run it on race day confidently. Another thing I learned was running in such humidity my body is inclined to heat rash so I know to dress in cooler clothing. I wouldn’t have known this if I hadn’t been prepared before hand.
These are some of the tips I have learned that I hope will help you as you prepare for for marathon. It’s such an exciting, but crazy decision to make. Just know if I can do it, so can you!
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