by Cassandra Merkling
(last updated September 4, 2009)
Training for a marathon takes discipline and devotion. When you begin training, you will need to keep in mind what your motivation is, so that you can recall your mind when it wanders off into the moors of self-doubt. Just make sure that you give yourself more to reflect on than, "I want to lose weight," because weight loss is something that is conditional upon seeing results and there are times when the results will come slowly.
Be sure you have the proper resources for training and running the actual marathon. If you have bad shoes, not only will you do poorly, but you can cause yourself permanent problems in the future. Keep yourself safe by wearing good clothes that will not chafe and will keep you and your muscles cool and/or warm (depending on when and where you are running), and be sure to wear something that can keep the sweat out of your eyes. Ladies, do not skimp on the sports bra or you will likely suffer through your running rather than enjoying it.
Remember to eat more carbohydrates than you did before you started exercising so strenuously. Eat low fat meals with plenty of protein. Your body will require you to eat very nutritious foods and you absolutely must keep hydrated. Drink AT LEAST 3 to 4 liters of water every day. Have a small snack (just make sure it's not dairy-based) and some water about an hour before you take your run. You can "carbo load" the day or two before you do your long runs (this means to eat more carbohydrates than proteins or fats). Oh, and please, PLEASE do not take in any alcohol or caffeine as these will dehydrate you rather quickly.
There are several websites out there on the Internet that will tell you just how to train for a marathon. Most of them seem to suggest that you have one long run a week and shorter runs the other days that you train. Other than that common thread, the specifics vary from source to source. All of the links I provide below lead to running regimes that can assist you in training for a marathon.
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