Training for a marathon is a pretty intensive task. Whether you’ve completed twenty or this is your first, the chances are that you have a whole load of practice runs planned. Looking at your training schedule is probably enough to wear you out. But, building stamina is essential for ensuring the day doesn’t knock you out completely.
Sadly, even those of us who stick to our running schedules well often find ourselves struggling. That’s because there’s more to marathon training than doing the deed. Obviously, nothing is better preparation than running itself. But, training is all about eating, sleeping, and thinking marathon at all times.
As such, you need to keep your head in that training game even when you aren’t due for a run. After all, there are usually recovery periods of at least a few days after each session. If you take your eye off the ball during that time, you’re never going to be ready when the time comes. Instead, focus on filling your free time with the following less-obvious prep methods.
Focus on your eating
Believe it or not, what you eat in the lead up to your marathon can have a significant impact on your performance. Why do you think athletes stick to strict meal plans? If you’re bingeing on pizza and fatty snacks on non-run days, you’ll soon feel the impact. That’s because foods like these can cause lethargy, which is never going to help with your run. Instead, you want to focus on healthy foods, including carbs, proteins, and healthy fats. You may also find it beneficial to eat smaller meals. Running while bloated is the last thing you want.
Follow along with other running journeys
Marathon training can feel pretty lonely. Unless you have a buddy to go on runs with, you’re in this thing on your own. That means running solo for hours on end, and not being able to share your struggles. The good news is that many others now catalogue their running progress online. Some of these resources are even marathon-specific. Many people now post training vlogs, for example. Or, you could head to blogs like Challenge SEP which follows an altogether more general journey of someone who is trying to build their running stamina.
Scrolling through sites like these is a fantastic way to ease any worries you might have. It could also give you some fantastic tips to take to your next run with you.
As much as practice runs are essential, so is self-belief. You could train non-stop, after all, and a marathon would still be something of a challenge. That’s why you also need to spend plenty of time boosting the belief that you can achieve this. Some people do this with positive affirmations. Others find practices like meditation help them to reach that determined headspace. This is especially useful as it allows you to enter a meditative mindset during the marathon. That could just be the thing which ends up getting you through.