One of the best ways in which to get motivated and improve your fitness is by aiming towards a goal. Rather than focus on something generic like “lose weight” or “get fit”, you can instead set your sights on something more specific such as completing a marathon.
Whether you’ve decided you’ll run or walk or complete a full or half marathon, here are some helpful fitness tips to prepare you for the journey ahead. You are sure to find reaching the goal is that much sweeter when you know how much effort you’ve put into preparation.
- Give Yourself Plenty of Time
Complete fitness is not something that happens overnight. You don’t go from being able to walk as far as 100 metres without getting puffed one day, to being able to run 42 kilometres the next. Therefore, if you’re looking to complete a marathon and you’re only just beginning, you want to give yourself at least a year. It may even take longer if you’re new to the entire world of fitness.
- Find a Suitable Event
Once you know that you want to improve your fitness, get healthy, and eventually complete a marathon, it’s not a bad idea to start hunting for suitable events. Often, marathons and charity runs take place on the same day or week every year. Find one that you feel might tick all the boxes, then write it down. That is the date you want to be able to reach your goal by.
- Practice Makes Perfect
To get race-ready, it’s a good idea to take part in smaller events leading up to the big marathon that can prepare you mentally and physically for the looming deadline. There is an abundance of fun runs, charity runs, big walks and five and ten kilometre runs that may help you to prepare for the real deal.
- Running Routine
When you’re training at home, remember that you aren’t going to be able to run the full 42-kilometre distance in the beginning. Begin by running at least three times a week, gradually extending the distance. Once every week, or every ten days, include an even longer run so that your body starts to adjust. It also helps to change it up a bit by including stints of jogging and sprinting so that your body is prepared for all scenarios. Even if you start off with a run of one kilometre at the beginning, within a year, that will feel like a quick jog.
- Don’t Forget to Rest
As you prepare for what could be the most significant event of your life, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment. However, even though this new fitness journey is important to you, it’s crucial to remember to rest. Make sure you include at least two or three rest days per week, which means no running. You can take part in strength training, swimming, yoga, weights, and low-impact exercise, but let your muscles take a break from high-impact workouts.
Running a marathon is a significant achievement, but it’s the fitness journey that matters the most. Prepare your body and mind for the long road ahead and give yourself plenty of time to achieve your goals.