Crossing the finish line of a marathon is very fulfilling for most runners. If running a marathon has always been on your wish list and you feel you can complete the 26.2 miles, you must be wondering if you’re ready or not to take the plunge. While the distance might be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time, your level of fitness determines how well you’re prepared. Marathon is a hard race that requires commitment, perseverance, and dedication. Here, we explain six signs that prove you’re ready for a marathon.
1. How Well Have You Trained?
A marathon is a long race and your training strategy should be planned to cover long distances. Running shorter distances will limit your body come marathon day. In fact, it’s recommended to train as if you’re running the marathon already. Start your training early so that you have the time to adjust your mileage each time you race. If you’ve been training for shorter miles, your body will have a hard time getting to the 18-20-mile mark. On top of that, this will increase your risk of injuries.
Likewise, your overall fitness should be in top form. It would be a mistake to simply jump into a marathon without sufficient aerobics and fitness base. If you’re training smarter rather than harder, then you are ready for the big day. Most newbies want to achieve a great form as quickly as possible. This is not healthy and it’s important to work on a recovery after each training. This gives your body a chance to adjust to the big changes and increases endurance.
2. Consistency is the Key
If you have a marathon coming up in, say, less than four months, then you must have already developed a training routine. Remember, running long distance while training doesn’t count if you don’t do it often. If you reached the 12-mile mark in your training, how often did you repeat or surpass that mark? This also goes for long-time runners. If you haven’t been practicing enough, your body can’t be strong enough to finish the marathon. If you’re not injured, your mileage should always be moving up. Now, checking at your training calendar and statistics, are there inconsistencies in your total mileage or time spent running?
3. You Can Eat and Run Simultaneously
First-time marathoners have a difficulty eating and running at the same time. Their guts can’t digest solid food without causing some discomfort. But, if you can handle fluids and solid food and still maintain your pace, then you’re past that hurdle which can be quite troublesome for someone who’s just starting out. Additionally, your body needs enough fuel to sustain you throughout the race and eating the right diet greatly determines your performance. You need to up your carb intake a few days prior to the marathon. You must know the exact amount of carbohydrates you need depending on your body weight.b This means you must also know the right kinds of food to give you an accurate number of carbs your body requires.
4. The Right Mindset
Running a marathon takes a heavy toll on your body. Just look at the marathoners who have crossed the finish line. They are fatigued and trying to catch their breath. Having the right mindset can be an effective tool for completing your marathon without much stress.
To better prepare for the painful long race, practice being uncomfortable in your training. Push yourself because come marathon day, your mind will be ready to conquer the remaining five miles of the marathon.
This is important. If you find running boring, it can send the wrong signals to your brain and make the whole experience regrettable. You don’t have to love running, but if you liked and enjoyed training, to the extent of thinking, “that was impressive,” then you’re good to go.
5. Bad Weather is No Longer an Excuse
Weather conditions change and you can either choose to view it as a challenge or a hindrance. If you’re the type that sees heavy clouds and then cancels training, then you’re not ready for the marathon. Similarly, sunshine will make you sweat a lot and probably get tired quicker. But, real marathoners see bad weather as a challenge and are willing to finish the race unless it’s absolutely impossible.
6. You’re Injury Free
Training for a marathon can be grueling and sometimes leads to injuries. While you should train consistently, be careful to avoid injuries when the day of the race draws near. Running a marathon with an injury will make it worse and you won’t even cover half the race. It’s crucial to watch out for your well-being instead of risking worsening your injury.
A greater motivation to join a community of marathoners is the team spirit and running for a cause. Knowing that you’re helping out someone near you through your efforts will propel you to the finish line as well as make the experience enjoyable and exciting.
All images via Pixabay