Marathon Tips for First-Timers

By St Helena Sports Medicine
July 15, 2016

As a new runner, the thought of running a marathon can be daunting. After all, 26.2 miles is a long way to go for even the most experienced runner. But if you plan properly and train sufficiently, you too can cross the finish line. Here are some tips to get you moving:

Baby Steps
Don’t think you can run a great distance the first day of training. In fact, doing so only overexerts your body and puts you at risk for injury. Instead, start off slowly by running one mile a week and gradually add more miles until your run is up to 12 miles at a steady pace. And if you want to stay healthy, you’ll need to find a balance between running and rest. Your body will need time in between running sessions (even a day or two) to let your body absorb the training.

Stay Hydrated
When you train for a marathon, it’s extremely important to drink plenty of water regularly. Marathon courses provide water about every three miles, so condition yourself to drink this much as you train. Some people carry water bottles in a waist belt, while others use water fountains or stop at soda machines to replenish along the route.

Eat Right
As you train, your body will need plenty of carbohydrates to help with endurance. It’s important for you to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in order to keep your muscles in top shape. Other foods that boost your workout include low-sugar granola bars with natural ingredients, nuts and Greek yogurt.

Keep Your Eye On the Prize
Crossing the finish line should be your primary goal when running a marathon, not your performance level or time. Your fitness level is different from others, so comparing yourself to others may only make you discouraged. And don’t forget to enjoy the experience. You’ve trained long and hard for this – now it’s time to reap the reward of accomplishing this major feat in your life.

Do you want to learn more about training safely for your first marathon? Contact Napa Vacaville Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics. For more information about first-time marathon training, contact us today.  You can reach us directly at 707.258.2547 in Napa or 707.446.6206 in Vacaville.  We look forward to meeting you.

Mature Athletes, Sports Medicine


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