Like most tests of physical and mental fortitude, running a marathon is a feat that continues to test the willpower of many athletes worldwide. While many start the race with admirable intentions, things may not always go according to plan.
A part of the mishap may fall on environmental conditions and the mindset of the runner at the time. However, a significant factor that affects marathon performance is the training that leads up to the moment. Here are four marathon training mistakes runners should avoid.
Not Introducing Variation
While running is a repetitive sport, you can reduce the feeling of repetition by incorporating variety into your training routine. If you’re tired of running on rough terrain or just want a change, you can consider hitting the treadmill for a change in scenery. Some treadmills even allow you to change the incline at which you run, which can prove helpful. If you’re not accustomed to using a machine, you can find treadmill beginner tips to guide you, such as watching your form and being cautious when using the incline feature. You can also implement drills and pace variations to increase or change the intensity of a training run.
There’s excessive training, there’s insufficient training, and there’s improper preparation. The latter is when you forego an appropriate training plan that matches your current abilities.
Selecting a program that doesn’t align with your running frequency and goals won’t prepare you for your run, prompting you to miss out on necessary progress.
Unrealistic Goal Setting
Marathon training primarily focuses on adapting your body to the physical demands of running 26.2 miles. Much of your program should work to increase your cardiovascular endurance, prepping you for the grueling conditions of a longer run.
However, you don’t want to prioritize achieving a speedy time for your first marathon! By doing so, you could be holding yourself to an unrealistic expectation that can lead to disappointment if you fall short. In this case, consider using the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound) acronym to determine goals that best suit your training.
Surprisingly, some beginner marathon runners may overlook hydration during their training runs. While this habit may not affect a short-distance run, failing to hydrate properly during training can lead to detrimental results during longer runs.
To avoid muscle cramps and other adverse effects of dehydration, remember to drink adequate amounts of water before your run and rehydrate periodically during your run.
Whether you’re participating in your first or tenth marathon, as a runner, you should avoid marathon training mistakes. This way, you’ll ensure you’re preparing your body and mind the best way you can.