Beginners Marathon Training Guide

Race Day

So you have done all the training.

You feel great.

Now all you have to do is complete the race!!!

There is quite a lot that can go wrong on race day, but if you plan properly it should be a great day and you'll have an experience that you will remember happily for the rest of your life.

Racing is very different to training.

Factors such as nerves and stress as well as a lack of knowledge can lead to mistakes being made. Probably the most common mistake a beginner marathon runner makes whilst racing is to start too fast. Although you may know what pace you should be running your race, pressure will often cause athletes to start too quickly. This may feel fine for a while, particularly if you head the field, but almost inevitably a fast start will catch up with you and you will fade towards the end of the race.

In the marathon you will often hear talk of how someone has hit "the wall", usually because they have started the race too quickly.

Racing Conditions

Competitors - The presence of other athletes, providing a threat to you achieving what you want to, produces stress and adrenalin. This can affect you well before, as well as during, the race, particularly if you have to warm up in a confined area with everyone discussing how well they have been running.

Hanging Around waiting to start - Usually when training you will start within a few minutes of arriving at your venue. Whilst competing you often have to wait for a variety of reasons: registration, previous races running late, in a track situation - waiting for your second race of the day, etc.. Be sure you donít spend the entire time "pumped up" or you will be exhausted by the time you start racing.

Crowds - Having people watching you can add to the sense of pressure, particularly, if there are more people present than you have raced in front of before. This can be true even if it is just having family and friends watching you, particularly if this is not something you usually have when running a race.

Acclimatising to the Unknown - On race days you want to avoid external pressure as much as possible, so make sure you know where you are going and allow plenty of time. You donít want to waste energy worrying that you wonít make it. Also, when at a meeting it can be useful to find a quiet place away from the hussle and bussle to warm up - this can make it feel more like a normal training session. The required adrenalin will come when you assemble near the start with everyone else.

Learn more / further reading

  1. What mileage should I do?
  2. How should I set up a weekly Schedule?
  3. What Clothing and Shoes do I need?
  4. How far should my Long Runs be?
  5. What else can I do to help my Marathon Training?
  6. What should I eat?

Remember, if this all seems a bit daunting, we can put together a schedule prepared specifically for you from our team of experienced coaches with our Online Coaching.
















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