Prepare yourself for your first marathon

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” Haruki Murakami describes running as such. Are you a total beginner but wish to run your first marathon in 2017? Here are the five steps to follow to prepare your first half or full marathon.

The marathon is a long-distance running race (42.195 kilometres/26.219 miles). Photo credit to Julian Mason

His fingers become yellow, because he’s been used to smoke 60 cigarettes a day for a while. Sitting at his desk for almost all day, he felt he started to put on the pounds.

This happened when Haruki Murakami decided to be a professional novelist. So he needed to find a way to keep fit. Quite naturally, the writer picked up running.

“You don’t need someone to help you with it; nor do you need any special equipment. You don’t have to go to any particular place to do it.” wrote Haruki in the article The Running Novelist: “As long as you have a pair of running shoes and a good road you can run to your heart’s content.”

Running is indeed an easily accessible exercise. In Cardiff, a lot of people enjoy running. This can be proven to be true by just walking on the street or the parks dotted in the city where you can always see sweating runners passing by.

More than 2500 people have participated in the St David’s day run 2017.

Marathon is becoming more and more popular these years as it is less limited to professional runners.

Meanwhile, for people who haven’t worked out regularly before, running, especially running a half of full marathon can be challenging. Many may encounter the same problems as the famous Japanese writer did: their body was not ready to run.

In Cardiff, many half of full marathon races are fairly well scheduled throughout the year. If you are a beginner, make sure you have prepared yourself before go on your first half or full marathon. Here are some advices from Christopher Troake, professional personal trainer based in Cardiff.

Step 1: Sign up to your first race

Before taking part in a full marathon, it’s always good to sign up to 10k, help marathon or other long distance events as the preparation. Not only these events will give you confidence, but also give you experience contributing to your performance. Doing it with a friend, family member or partner can help keep you motivated.

Step 2: Set short, medium and long goals for yourself

Knowing that you are progressing is vital to keep yourself motivated. Setting a 10k personal best time and completing a longer distance each week can give purpose to your each training session.

Step 3: Set up a smart training programme

Plan the training around your lifestyle. Normally, it’s ideal to plan four runs per week. But things work out differently for everyone because of work, family, social life and others. Runners should come up with a plan which works out the best for themselves and then stick to it.

Step 4: Keep a training log

It can include distance, time, route, time of the day, weather and maybe even some comments. Runners can easily find good app to use. This can help runners gauge progress and plan future sessions better.

Step 5: Build up you personal weekly mileage

Runners can build up a weekly mileage over time as their fitness and bodies’ tolerance to runs improves and when they require less time to recover between runs. For the full marathon preparation, 30-50 miles a week is the eventual aim for a mortal runner.

Find out more running events in Cardiff