Fall is one of the most popular seasons for running. Almost every weekend there is a race ranging in distance, theme and charitable focus. Training yourself, both mentally and physically, to cover 26.2 miles takes several months, depending on how much running experience you have.
The hardest part about preparing for a marathon or a long-distance runner in general is getting in a regular routine. “That’s why a lot of people join a program or a club – so they can have a regime to stick to,” Jaime Quinn, a NYS licensed physical therapist and regional clinical director of Professional Physical Therapy, says.
If you don’t have a strong core and legs, you’re not going to be strong enough to complete 20+ miles, she adds. Designing a strength program is crucial. It also requires dedication and commitment. After all, a lot of people run every day but only 0.5 percent of the U.S. population has actually run a marathon. This is not a big number considering there are 570 such events held every year in the country.
Finishing a long race may be a bucket list adventure but it’s not for everyone. Runners who are training for an endurance event should have a considerable amount of running experience – like running 4-5 days a week for at least several months or having already finished a few smaller races.
Training will be hard and you should expect bad days. Don’t just run; cross-training is crucial so the body can recover and stay active at the same time. Know what mistakes to avoid and how. If you want to be fast, you have to include speed training in your program. But doing too much too soon can be detrimental.