For many runners, covering 42 kilometers is the pinnacle of running achievement. If you have a few half marathons under your (fuel) belt, you may be thinking it’s time to go big or go home.
Last year, our very own CMO Kim Fassetta tackled her first Marathon and inspired our Director of Customer Happiness, Kristen Szustakowski, to go from couch to Half Marathon during that same time. A year later, Kristen will be tackling her first Marathon at the Philadelphia Marathon on November 24, with Kim as her pacer!
As Kim and Kristen train, we’ll be sharing monthly tips on how to go from Half to Full. Before you tackle your first 42K, there are a few training principles you should consider to stay healthy and enjoy your first Marathon.
Run Longer, Not Faster
It can be easy to get caught up in the pace on your GPS watch. Over shorter distances, a faster-than-expected mile here or there shouldn’t break you later in the race. But when you’re staring down 42K moving too quickly could spell disaster.
During training, worry less about pace, and more about time on your feet. Marathons are, well, long. And your body needs to be prepared to spend hours on its feet, moving forward.
Instead of looking at slow, easy-effort runs as junk kilometers, which runners often do, look at them as time on feet your body needs to get comfortable being uncomfortable.
Add Distance Slowly
Depending on your training plan, your weekly distance for a marathon will increase quite a bit from what you’re used to when focusing on a half marathon. A good training plan will ramp up your distance slowly, avoiding injury and burnout.
Follow the 10 percent rule when adding kilometers: Don’t increase your weekly kilometers by more than 10 percent over the previous week.
So you thought training for a half marathon was time-consuming? Marathon training is its own beast and calls for higher weekly mileage, longer daily runs, and more recovery time.
Before you commit to a race and a training plan, take a step back and look at what’s going on in your life. Are you planning a wedding? Are you thinking about having kids? Do you think you’ll start a new job or will you be promoted? Do you have a big trip planned?
Missing a couple of training runs here and there, especially early on in your training likely won’t derail your race. But if you’re not fully committed to the distance and find yourself overtired from daily life or trying to squeeze in makeup runs, you likely won’t have the race you’re hoping for.