Training Tips for the Novice Marathon Runner

by Andy Joggerst, Certified Personal Trainer, Studio Element Personal Training

If you are planning to take on the Go! St. Louis Marathon or half-marathon this April, perhaps for the first time, there are certain elements of preparing and training you need to know. Hopefully you have already begun training and are giving yourself the time you need in order to be fully prepared.
One of the most important things is to make a schedule of when you will run on a regular basis, so you always know what days you will train and what time of day. Getting rest in between is just as important as the training itself so be sure to incorporate rest days into your running schedule. As you progress, try to use a 10 percent rule when increasing the volume of your training. For example, if you run 20 miles one week, run 22 miles the next week – not more.

Having the right shoes and clothing are also essential for training and running the marathon. Make sure you have the right kind of shoes for your foot. Visit a running specialty store such as Fleet Feet, Big River Running or Ghisallo to select proper footwear with assistance from a professional. They will measure your feet, look at your arches, view wear patterns on your old shoes – wear old ones. Train in the clothes you will wear during the marathon. May want to get a half size larger than your normal size because your feet will swell, especially while running.

Keep yourself healthy. Drink a lot of water during your off time as keeping hydrated is key. If you’re out running and you have cottonmouth it’s too late, you’re already dehydrated. Pay attention to your body in training, including getting the proper nutrition. If you are training for more than an hour at a time, you need to eat something every 15-20 minutes during that run. Grab a few easy-to-carry carbohydrate boosters like Power Bars, energy gels and the like. Most marathons will have energy stations every couple miles during the race.

Make sure you also mentally prepare yourself for this challenge. Don’t take running a marathon lightly. It is something you need to make adjustments for.

On the day of the race, make sure you give yourself plenty of time. Don’t make yourself run a marathon before you actually run the marathon. Pace yourself. The last six miles are the toughest.

The Go! St. Louis Marathon takes place on April 10 in Downtown St. Louis
For more information or to register, visit www.gostlouis.org. Studio Element Personal Training, in conjunction with Go! St. Louis will offer a FREE workshop focused on proper attire and nutrition/hydration for those training for the marathon on April 2. For more information, or to sign up, contact Studio Element at 314-623-9904.

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