• Helen Phillips

I Can Do This! 5 Tips for More Confident Marathon Training

If you've just secured yourself a spot to run your first marathon and you're about to start training, but haven't been running for long, getting out of the front door can feel daunting.

Our head plays mind games. Unsure where to start, nervousness and procrastination takes hold.

But don't let these doubts win. Follow these 5 Tips for More Confident Marathon Training

1. Invest in the right kit

When you start out running all you really need is a well fitting pair of running shoes (get them fitted at a specialist running shop, rather than buying a cut priced trainer from a discount store). But marathon training, you're going to be clocking up quite a few miles, so will probably need another pair before race day.

Rather than risking running your marathon in new shoes I recommend you invest in two pairs now and alternate them in training. That way you can be sure that your shoes will be broken in come race day. Alternating shoes also allows them to 'dry out' between runs, avoiding stinky trainers clogging up your hallway!

It's also a good idea to seek out 'technical' sports clothing and investing in some long leggings for cold winter weather training. Technical kit makes running a much more pleasant experience, as sweat is wicked away from your body by the fibres. If you look good, you'll feel good! Don't be afraid of being 'all the gear, no idea', you'll soon be up and running!

2. Don't worry about what people think

We all start somewhere! So if you're new to running and this marathon will be your first race, don't be embarrassed to jog or shuffle along at your own pace. Good speedy runners generally respect everyone who runs, you're joining their tribe! As the pass you running in the park they're likely to be thinking 'good for you for getting out' and be fully supportive of your efforts.

You're also lapping everyone on the couch. So don't be put off by anyone who 'channel surfs' for exercise!

And when the occasional 'white van man' honks his horn or shouts out a remark, my strategy is to smile, run tall and strong, and ignore them. Don't let the idiots of the world put you off. You're health, fitness and your awesome marathon goal is worth more than that!

3. Run at your own pace

The biggest mistake new runners make is trying to run too fast, to soon, and then give up for good after 5 or 10 minutes into their weekly long run!

It's much better to start wth a run (jog or shuffle) then walk strategy. Run for 5 - 10 minutes, then take a 1 minute walk break. You'll build up your fitness and confidence a lot faster this way. Check out 'Jeffing', loads of marathon runners swear by this method!

There is no shame in building up your running with a run-walk strategy. I used this approach when I started out and I've used it to build up my strength after coming back from injury.

4. Train with a friend

It's so easy to 'put it off 'til tomorrow' when you start out. But running with a friend you're more likely to stick to your training plans, and motivate each other as the weeks progress.

Lots of running clubs host new runners programmes and usually will have other runners marathon training through the year. Check them out. You'll be running with other beginners and making new friends.

5. Enjoy yourself

As the weeks go by and running becomes easier, celebrate the joy of movement and making changes to your fitness, stamina and health. Enjoy the endorphin happy high from exercise, it really is an addictive drug!

Regular exercise does so much for your body from increased fitness, improved muscle tone, improved cardiovascular function and mental health.

Smile and enjoy ... the journey will be worth it!

So now you know what to be doing this year if you're training for a marathon download my FREE Get Ahead Marathon Preparation Guide. Click HERE to download NOW!

Good luck with your training, have an incredible journey and see you at the finish line!

Helen, The Cheesecake Runner x

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