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Training for a Marathon, One Step at a Time

Is running a marathon on your bucket list? If so, maybe it’s because you want to get into better shape, achieve a difficult goal, or raise money for a cause that’s close to your heart. Whatever your reason may be, here’s how to prepare!

Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Training for a marathon takes time and determination. Recommendations vary, but many experts suggest that you train for four to five months, as well as running at least a few 5Ks, before you take on a marathon.[1] Rushing your training into a shorter period can lead to injury and leave you on the sidelines on race day, which is the last thing you want!

Four Basic Building Blocks from REI: [2]

  • Base Mileage: Build up your mileage over time, eventually reaching 50 miles a week, split over three to five days.
  • The Long Run: Every seven to ten days, do a long run to help your body adjust to marathon-like distances. Extend your run a mile or two each week, and every third week, cut it back a little to prevent overtraining. By the end of your training period, you should be able to do a 20-mile run.
  • Speed Work: Try interval training, which incorporates short bursts of speed. Mixing up your pace can increase your aerobic capacity and help make your long-distance runs feel easier.
  • Rest and Recovery: As tempting as it may be, don’t run every day! Your body needs to rest and repair itself in between runs. On off days you can do lower impact exercise such as walking, cycling, or swimming.

Wear a Tried and True Race Outfit
A common refrain you hear among runners is “Don’t try anything new on race day.” So, that means no new foods, clothes, or shoes! You might also try a dress rehearsal run just to make sure everything goes smoothly, in which you wake up at the time you will on race day, eat the foods you plan to eat, and wear the clothes you plan to wear.

Prevent Dehydration and Fatigue
Staying hydrated is key to your performance! Make sure to drink a lot of water and healthy beverages like Juice Plus+ Complete shakes for several days beforehand. You’ll also need to drink while you run. There will be water stations along the marathon route, but if you don’t want to stop, make sure to bring your own!

Running a marathon requires fuel in addition to water. A simple, easy-to-digest breakfast, composed of mostly carbs with a little bit of protein, will get you off to good start. Examples include toast with almond butter, oatmeal, or yogurt.

You’ll also need to eat while you run, so bring a Juice Plus+ Complete bar for race day! Runner’s World suggests consuming 30-60 grams of carbs per hour of exercise. Make sure you bring the correct amount so you don’t feel worn down in the middle of the race!

Running for a Cause
A lot of marathons raise money for good causes, particularly health-related ones. You can run a marathon to support research or provide care for people with cancer, cardiovascular disease, autism, arthritis, AIDS, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, or spinal injuries.

Close to the heart of Juice Plus+ is the St. Jude Memphis Marathon, which supports the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. St. Jude provides free medical care for children with life-threatening illnesses, including cancer, and Juice Plus+ has been a proud sponsor of the St. Jude marathon for 14 years.

So there, you have it! To have the best marathon, just follow our advice above. Have you ever run a marathon? What were the keys to your success?

[1] How to train for a marathon. Runner’s World.

[2] How to train for a marathon. REI Expert Advice.




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