10 Tips to Help You Prepare for a Marathon
Deciding to run a marathon is exciting but also comes with a handful of challenges. If you’re worried and don’t know how to get yourself ready for your run just relax. We’ve got ten tips that will help you run your best race and make reaching the finish line look easy!

Choose the right shoes.

When deciding on shoes for the big run choose carefully. These shoes are going to carry you through the best and worst miles of your run, so choosing right pair of shoes is essential to success. Make sure you get the perfect fit! Get fitted at a professional running store. That way an expert can help you decide which shoe is best for your foot and stride! Also spend some time running in the shoe before the race. If your shoes are bothering you while your training, they’ll only hurt more during the actual marathon. Save yourself time and money by trying your shoes out, and so you’ll know that it’s the right shoe to get you to the finish line.  Choosing the right pair of shoes can help protect your feet from injury and even reduce the chance of developing a condition like plantar fasciits.

Devise a plan based on your current fitness level.

Few great things have been accomplished without planning. Marathon training is a huge commitment that requires you to become more in tune with yourself mentally, physically and emotionally. Before you get out there and just start running, find a plan that fits your current fitness level. Also, make sure that this plan is realistic, challenging and will help you achieve your goals.

Set goals.

Be sure to sketch out some goals based on your training plan! Have a vision in mind for how your best run would play out on the big day. This goal should be your personal best, and fit your most ideal run. However have a secondary goal as well, just in case conditions aren’t optimal, or if you don’t feel the best on race day. Having both of these goals in mind will keep you motivated and focused during the marathon.

Implement stretching into your routine.

Learning how to stretch properly and effectively can help you avoid injury on the big day. Add some gentle stretching into your training routine so your body will be accustomed to being loose before running. In your stretching focus on the muscles on the backside of your body, this includes the calves, glutes, hamstrings and lower back. Stretching fifteen minutes before running will make your run more comfortable and the miles fly by much easier.  These stretches for plantar fasciitis can help you limber up and prevent potential injury.

Run a half marathon.

As you get closer to the big day it’ll be about time for you to test your mental and physical fitness. Challenging yourself to run a half-marathon about a month before race day can push you mentally and help you prepare your body. Try to run this half-marathon a little faster than your marathon pace.

Mimic the course in your training.

Running in a setting that’s similar to the course you’ll be on during the marathon will help prepare your body for the race. Try your best to mimic the terrain you’ll see on race day as you train. Implement hills, flat ground or inclines into your runs as needed. If you don’t have access to the right environment before race day mimic the topography as much as you can on the treadmill.

Remember to have fun!

Don’t forget to enjoy yourself! Preparing for a marathon can be both mental and physically draining, so try to have fun with your training. Get creative with your running habits, and use your new hobby as a way to explore. Find new running routes online or through friends, and use them to see parts of your city that you might not usually venture to! Also have some fun with your training, and create small mental games that will help you reach your running goals.

Carb-Load the night before the big race, but be smart.

Loading up on carbohydrates the night before your race is something a lot of runners look forward to. However, if you do this wrong it’ll cause more harm than good for you on the race day. Eating a ton of pasta and breads that night isn’t the way to go. These types of foods will make you feel stuffed, slow and uncomfortable during your run. Loading up on liquid carbohydrate drinks and using those as fuel instead will make your run go by much smoother!

Visualize success.

Seeing yourself cross the finish line can be the biggest motivator of all! A huge number of professional athletes use visualization to help reach their goals. Practicing this yourself will make your goals seem more realistic. Spend about ten minutes three to five times a week visualizing yourself running your ideal race. Also picture yourself running across the finish line and celebrating completing the race at your best time!

Relax.

Focusing on all the miles ahead of you can be scary, and downright discouraging. However, if you take some time out of your routine to focus and relax the task can seem much easier. Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed take a few deep breaths and remember why you decided to challenge yourself. Living in the moment will help you have a clear mind, easy thoughts and keep your vision in tact.

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