The 3 golden rules for a successful half or full marathon

by Graeme Hilditch

How to prepare for the perfect race

Although most are blissfully unaware of it, every runner who takes part in an iconic event such as the Virgin London marathon or the Great North Run, helps to inspire thousands of “everyday” people into taking up the challenge for the following year.

In the weeks following the marathon, the interest in distance running surges, as people who often don’t even consider themselves as “athletic,” fancy getting involved in an event which has the ability to change your life for the better - forever.

The problem however, is being inspired to sign up for a half or full marathon is one thing, knowing the vital ingredients which can ensure you can run it safely, enjoyably and successfully are quite another.

So, what are the vital ingredients needed to ensure your initial inspiration to run in a marathon doesn’t fade away after your first few training runs or when the going gets tough?

1. Desire

For those new to the world of distance running, slipping on your training kit and heading out of the front door in cold, wet, windy and dark conditions can be a tough and demoralising experience.

Training for a marathon requires a level of commitment that you will never have experienced before. This is why desire for what you are doing and the reasons you are doing it are so important.

Every successful runner takes on a half or full marathon for a reason - and it’s the passion for that reason which helps inspire them to get out of that front door and train, whatever the weather.

So, whether your desire for the marathon comes from wanting to run for a Charity or if it’s simply a personal challenge which you never thought possible, hold onto that desire and use it to drive you forward and stick to your training regime.

2. Wear the right shoes

Despite the fact that gait analysis technology is widely available and often free of charge, far too many “wanna be” marathon runners are still training in inappropriate footwear.

Not all runners run in the same way and a quick analysis of your gait will discover what type of runners you are and which running shoes are best suited for your particular gait.

In short, if you wear the wrong shoes for your gait, then injury will be waiting for you just around the corner, so get your gait analysed and have confidence that your feet are being well looked after.

GH Training recommend Brooks running shoes. They are exceptionally high quality and will never let you down.

3. Common Sense

Every “expert” and running website/blog will have their own particular view on training drills, injury prevention, nutrition, hydration etc and if you believed every word you read, you’d end up incredibly confused and no better off in knowing what to do than before you began your training.

With so much contradictory advice on websites, blogs and magazines, it is vital that you always remember that it’s your race, your goal and your body. Articles may very well suggest that you do certain types of training session, but if such sessions don’t feel right or you don’t enjoy them, use some common sense and simply ignore that advice and find some alternative suggestions that suit you and your needs.

We’re all different - so logic dictates that we all need to train differently to achieve our marathon dream.

Comments

  • by John Doyle on 25 Apr 2016 16:31:03

    I am a regular runner (not club just for fun) how long should I take to train for an “Ultimate Run” of 60 miles. Don’t intend to run full distance just complete the distance in a respectable time

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