So you’ve ran a half marathon? Congratulations! That’s amazing! That is no small feat no matter what anyone says. I remember my first half and I’m pretty sure I was sore for 2 weeks. I had no idea what had hit me because it literally felt like a truck. So now it’s time for your first marathon training plan, then right?
While you might think that you just do the training you did for the half marathon and double it, that’s not technically how this works. Keep in mind that this post is very high level information and if you’d like more information on how to get to run your first Marathon, you can check out my eBook From Walker to Marathoner here.
When you run, your body is put through lots of different things. We aren’t going to go through the science, but let’s just say that a half marathon and a full marathon are two very different things. They are extremely similar but also very different and some of the points I am making below are some that you might have seen before, they still apply.
Starting off with the Do’s!
- DO choose a local race if possible for your first marathon. This one is the same as the half. When trying something new, sticking closer to home is the smartest thing to do. Traveling can do really weird things to your body such as bloat which as I’m sure you can attest to, is extremely uncomfortable and sometimes painful. Another thing to consider while traveling is the time zone! If you’re running your first marathon in a different time zone, then that will definitely set you up for a tough race. So, for the sake of your sanity, just choose a local race first. Get the first marathon under your belt and then you can travel until your little heart is content.
- DO set 2 goals for yourself for the race.
- Time Goal – while time isn’t everything, setting yourself a time goal based off of your half finish will give you something to work for during your training. Typically you end up running fast on race day because of adrenaline rushes, etc.
- Fun Goal – this could be anything from “I will not take a bathroom break” or “I will make 2 new running friends at this race”. Having a fun goal like this will really help make the day not so serious and keep your mind off of your time! Even though a time is a goal, if you focus too hard on it to where you’re obsessing, it can actually backfire. So lighten up and have fun!
- DO choose your clothes ahead of time and train in those clothes for a few of your long runs to make sure they aren’t going to rub your skin raw somewhere. I partner with Just Strong Clothing and their clothes are absolutely incredible. Plus I love their message and purpose of empowering women. They also offer my readers a discount! Use Discount Code AGEORGE10 at checkout!
- DO find a good training plan. Be very careful about just downloading some random plan that you see on Pinterest. You have no idea where it came from or who made it. They may have never run 10 steps in a row in their life, so be very careful! I would say to even do one better and hire a running coach. I am a certified running coach and can help you meet this goal of your first marathon. You can contact me here and I would be glad to let you know how that works!
Now we move on to the Don’ts…
- DON’T think that since you ran a half marathon you will be ready for a full marathon a few weeks later and be ready. It just doesn’t work that way. If you think 13.1 miles is a long way, then 26.2 is.. well, double that.
- DON’T start your full marathon training the week after a half marathon race. Give your body at least a week maybe 2 to repair itself. Why? When we are in a race, it’s different than training. Our nerves are on edge, we’re in zone and it takes a bigger toll on your body. Rest is just as important as your training. Remember, don’t become a couch potato for a week or two, go for easy runs or walks, hop in the pool and swim or do some light weight training. EASY stuff, nothing too challenging.
- DON’T buy new shoes right before the race. This may seem like a no brainer but you’d be amazed at how many people I’ve come across that will buy new shoes right before a race. Yikes! If you think that your shoes will be too worn out before race day, go ahead and grab some new shoes at least a month to six weeks before the race to give you a chance to break them in. Not sure what shoes to get? I used to wear a certain brand of shoes and swore by them. While that company is still great, I now swear by a different pair. It’s because the sturdiness is better in these shoes and the cushion of these shoes it absolutely out of this world. You’re a runner and I’m willing to place a good bet that you’re in the gym too. The Reebok Harmony Roads not only make good running shoes, they can double for gym shoes as well.
- DON’T forget your water. This one IS the same as for the half because, water is universal. You need it no matter what. Carrying water for that far is tough. Thankfully a brilliant inventor came up with this little jewel. It carries your water for you and keeps your hands free. Grab one on Amazon by clicking the pic below! Keep in mind that you wouldn’t necessarily need to have your belt on race day because the race will have aid stations typically about every 1.5 miles. More running gear recommendations here.
Ready to run? Let’s do it! Running a marathon is a huge deal, so don’t take this lightly. It is definitely something that you can do, but it’s not something you just run out and do. You have to train and build up to it. You can do it!
Remember- make sure you grab the right shoes and the right clothes for this journey. You’ll have enough to deal with in regards to your sore muscles to worry about raw places on your skin and sore feet!
I have one more Do for you that I really think will help you out.
DO stay positive. The training process is long and it is hard but it is worth it. You’ll have those days where you’ll want to quit. Don’t quit. Stay the course and you CAN do this.
Remember- have fun and enjoy yourself.
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