26.2 miles in anyone’s money is a long way. But take it steady, and you too can join the marathon club.
The key to a good marathon is to take it one step at a time, and to take your time with the training.
Marathons have become big business – where once they were considered the preserve of “serious” runners, now they’re for everyone. Fundraisers, couch to marathon runners, walkers, young and old, one-time-only runners.
The important thing to take into account is that if you’re going to run that distance, you must train well.
Here’s what you need to know:
A lot of people don’t appreciate just how long they’re going to be on their feet for – and if it’s your first and you’re not used to running, it could take anything up to 8 hours. That’s a long time! Look after your feet by wearing good socks and proper footwear
Build up your mileage, about a mile a week. Yep, do the maths – you’ll need a good six months if you’re starting from scratch to get to that distance without injury.
Staying hydrated is key – but not just with water. It can actually be fatal to drink too much water and flush the electrolytes out of your body. Keep a balance by taking on a sports drink, sipping small amounts regularly, and topping up your electrolytes and salt, particularly if it’s hot and you’re sweating lots.
Bits rub, and after time they can get sore. Grease up the bits that are at risk – toes, under the bra line, nipples for men, anywhere where seams rub the skin.
After all, it may only happen once! Take every moment to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy what you’re achieving.
YOu're right Lucy, that photo doesn't paint a good picture of marathon runners. I have taken part in a recent 10k when there were loads of plastic water bottles being given away. I was very thirty so took one but it felt wrong and I thought they should really supply something else for long races.
all respect to those who do it - but as seen in the photo, look at the mess these events make. I don't support marathons or big running events for that reason, huge amounts of litter and plastic.
8 hours on your feet? I've done 6 hour walks but always with breaks and sit-downs. Not for me but respect to all who do marathons!
Everyone seems to be running marathons nowadays so it seems quite achieveable. Now my friend who's done an ultra-marathon...that's a different matter altogether, not many people could do that.
I would say to definitely invest in bluetooth headphones and some motivating podcasts if you're going to be running for miles every week. It will pay for itself in terms of helping and motivating you along. I couldn't survive my long runs without my headphones
Being someone who only runs for 20 mins at a time and whose legs are exhausted after that, I'm in awe of anyone who can keep going much longer than that.