You consider a few things when you join a marathon. Think of the entrance fee or registration fee, travel expenses, running gear or equipments, and the training. The total cost will depend on your marathon, and its location. The marathon organizers determine the amount athletes will pay. If you join local or low key marathons, the fee would be about $50-$60. That is fairly little. Major or famous marathon events have a more demanding fee than the local events. In fact, some marathon events require their participants to come up with at least $300.00 for the assigned charity for them before they can gain entry to the particular event.
The location of the chosen marathon event affects the cost as well. Of course, it will mean a lot whether you do a local or international marathon event. With international marathon events you will have to book 2 flights for back and forth. The farther, the more expensive you will pay. If you join a local marathon event, you pay much less for the transportation.
Regardless of the entrance fee, kind of marathon event (major or minor), location of marathon (national or international), preparing for marathon is not much. You have running gears and equipments to buy. Of course, you want to buy the proper outfit but that does not mean expensive running clothes. You probably even have a pair of decent running gears. Even so, running gears are not expensive. The equipments too are fairly affordable. The most bought running equipment is watch with GPRS. That too depends on your taste and preferences with watches. These sort of stuff depend on your aesthetic sensibilities. It can be cheap. It can also be expensive as you like.
Finally, you have the marathon training. It is a need to consider this matter. You just do not join a marathon without a proper training. Marathon training schedule or marathon programs are not expensive. You can buy it at less than $100.00. The training runs for different length of time. There are training for 12 weeks, and 16 weeks. Some do training for several months in advance of the Big Race especially the beginners. Whatever level you are as an athlete, you can fully give your confidence to your trainer or coach to train you well and good. Marathon training schedule have programs fit for beginner, intermediate, and advanced athletes. It is up to you to determine in which category you do belong.
Interval training is essential to increase your running pace. Use treadmills to help you with this training. Treadmills allow you to simulate sprints or hill runs and they also allow you to have fun and effective workouts to get your pace to the max. Most treadmills also have tracking features so you can track your progress and improvement.
Increasing resistance or strength training will improve your muscular endurance. As a runner, you want to focus on your glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps. These muscle groups will be the ones abused the most during marathons and it is important to keep them strong.
The stronger your core, the better your conditioning will be. Use numerous functional movements to train all of your major core muscles.
You must be able to maintain a consistent and comfortable pace during training. A comfortable pace is at around 70 percent of your maximum heartbeat rate. When you can hold a short conversation while running, maintain your pace at this rate and stay there for your marathon. Remember, that this is a marathon, not a sprint. You must be able to reserve your energy and not burn it out too quickly.
Cross your training. It is important to take some time out from running. This will allow your joints, muscles and body to recover on your most fatigued days without skipping exercising.
Once you have a training program planned, you also need to concentrate on energizing your body efficiently. Make sure to increase your complex carbohydrate consumptions through eating whole grains and oats. Get your proteins through beans and lean meats.
First of all, you should be eating and taking in carbs during your long runs when you are out there for more than 1½ hours. Under that time, you are basically using what has been stored up in your muscles previously. A great way to get carbs during your runs is through Sports Drinks or Energy Gels. You can even get Sports Jelly Beans little Energy Bites. All of these work – and some runners even eat gummy bears or other candies. But, you want to try anything during your training runs – not the day of your race. Find out what works for you and gives you energy and have it with you for race day.
The most important rule of eating leading up to race day is to not eat anything that you are not accustomed to eating. Carbs are important for energy on race day. You should be eating meals that are high in carbs during this time to be fueling up. Also important is to get some protein during this time. Another thing that you want to stay away from during the few days before the marathon is anything high in fiber or any food that you know gives you gas or any stomach distress.
Some good things to eat are pasta, bread, cereal, pizza, bagels.
Two days before the marathon is when you really want to make sure that you are getting fueled up. This may be the day of your big “carbo-loading” meal. Also, two days before you want to be making sure that you are drinking water throughout the day to start getting properly hydrated and getting a good night’s sleep.
The day before race day you want to make sure that you are still drinking water and eating some complex carbohydrates. This day about 75% of your calories should be from carbs. You should have your normal 3 meals plus a few snacks throughout the day. You should be finished with your last meal around 6:00 so that it can be digested before you go to bed.
On race morning you should have your meal about 1 – 1½ hours before race start. This should be something to get you fueled for the race – but nothing big or heavy. It should include carbs and a little protein. My suggestion is a power bar – that always works for me! Other suggestions are cereal, oatmeal or a bagel with peanut butter. Just make sure that whatever you eat is something that you have eaten prior to running in the past. It is important that you don’t experiment on race day.
For runners who run regularly, yoga is beneficial to them in so many ways. One will learn the stretching techniques which are needed in order for the muscles to relax before a race. After running in a half marathon usually the hamstrings and feet are tight, painful and aching. The yoga stretches can eliminate these aches and pains. In yoga a runner learns how to breathe properly thus improving the capacity of the lungs. He or she is able to overcome nervousness, anxiety and develops self-confidence. This will give the runner an advantage on the day of the race itself.
A runner who practices yoga will likewise have a very relaxed attitude thus eliminating any stress and tension thereby making the race more enjoyable. A runner can achieved better posture, correct body alignment and a stronger core when employing the yoga techniques. The first technique is the head to knee. This is for the leg muscles. This is done by sitting on the floor with the legs stretched out in front of the body. The left leg is bent a little and the left leg drawn towards the groin while the knee is pointed to the side. Then bend the opposite leg and place the forehead on the knee.
While keeping the forehead on the knee, both hands must clasp the right foot and straighten the leg. This should be executed for about 45 seconds. This should be repeated on the other side. It may look simple but it is a kind of yoga stretch which will improve one’s flexibility. Next in an erect stance with the feet pointing forward and the back straight, the body is lowered into a squat position with the heels in contact with the floor. Again this stretch should be for 45 seconds and repeated three to five times. Another technique is to bend forward with legs wide apart. This technique will benefit the back and hamstrings. To begin, one must stand in an erect position with the feet wide apart and turned slightly. Slowly bend from the waist down to the toes maintaining a straight back for 45 seconds.
The other stretches in yoga which can be beneficial to half marathon runners are as follows: diamond pose which is good for the legs and ankles; basic lunge which conditions and strengthen the legs and hips; bound angle stretch and pose which is good for the hips, groin and thighs; wall dog pose which is good for the back and hamstrings; lotus-conditioning and balance pose; and the garland pose which is great for ankles, calves and feet. The combination of the basic stretches and poses in yoga gives a runner good balance and flexibility.
It’s important that you get the right equipment before you begin training. As you will be severely punishing your legs then decent footwear is absolutely essential. You should get some well cushioned running shoes that will suit your particular running style. If you have any doubt then purchase the shoes from a running shop and ask for advice. Starting your training with new shoes will also mean that you’ll be able to both train and run your marathon using the same pair of trainers. This is much better than switching midway through training. Some people may also benefit from a heart rate monitor and a training log book. This way you’ll find it easier to track your progress and pinpoint flaws in your training.
There are two forms of run that you should include in your marathon workout; these are the short run and the long run. They are exactly as they sound, though the workout drastically varies. The short run should include high intensity interval training. For example you should sprint for 30 seconds, then jog for one minute and then keep repeating the process.
The long run is the most important aspect of training. Not only will you be mentally preparing yourself for the race, but you will be training your muscles to get ready. During long runs you should always stick to the 10% rule. This means that you should never increase your overall running distance by any more than 10%. If you do, then you drastically increase your chances of having an injury.
Another great way to train for a marathon is by cross training in other sports. This will allow you to give your leg muscles a rest from time to time, which is essential to replenish over-worked muscles. Incorporating swimming and cycling into your marathon workout can be very beneficial and will give you that much needed rest on certain weeks.
Designing a marathon workout is very difficult if you have little knowledge of fitness. If you are unsure of what to do then you should seek advice from an expert. Marathon workouts can vary from person to person, so it’s always important that you create your own workout. This will ensure that you don’t get an injury and that you are prepared for the race itself.
Make sure that you are eating correctly the day before your marathon. You should be eating 75% carbs during your meals – but don’t totally pig out. Many runners think that since they are carbo-loading they can just eat and eat and eat. This can cause discomfort during your race. Just eat the amounts of food that you usually eat – but make sure that they are predominately carbs.
Also, don’t try any foods that you have not eaten before. You may be out of town at a race and want to try new things. The day before the race is not the time to do that. Eat foods that you know agree with you. Save the experimenting with local cuisine for the night after your race.
Make sure that you are drinking plenty of water the day before your marathon. I generally keep a water bottle with me and drink from it all during the day. Your urine should be clear or very pale. If it’s not – you need to be drinking more.
It’s alright to do a short and easy run to stay loose. Don’t so anything speedy or strenuous. Many runners like to do a mile or two to simply relax. Or, you can go for a nice easy walk.
Try to rest as much as you can. Many larger races have a race expo where you pick up your race packet. It’s tempting to spend a lot of time there walking around and looking at everything. Just don’t tire yourself out and be sure that you are wearing comfortable shoes.
The night before a marathon, make sure that you have everything that you need ready to go. I always have laid out what I plan on wearing with my racing bib already attached to it. If it’s a race that uses timing chips – make sure that it’s properly attached to your shoes. Also, have any energy gels or anything that you plan on carrying in the race ready to go. Having everything ready the night before will help you to rest better and not be scurrying around the morning of the race.
Also, go through the race packet. Look for any pre-race instructions. There should be information in there that will be useful to you. For instance, parking instructions, shuttle information, water stops, etc. are things that you should be aware of. Also, they may have designated areas where you can plan on meeting up with your family afterwards.
The morning of the race, try to plan on arriving about an hour before the race starts. This will give you plenty of time to stretch out and make those port-a-potty stops. If it’s a larger race, those lines can get pretty long. There are many large races where I make my first “stop” come out of the potty and then get right back in line. That way I know that I won’t be stuck in line when the gun goes off – or not be totally “relieved” when the race starts.