Marathon running for beginners: How to get ready for a runner’s high

Published on: 19 May 2022, 10:00 am IST

For marathon running, first check your body and work on your nutrition and strength for two to three months, followed by training.

Gurpreet Kaur
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running woman
Running needs proper discipline. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Running marathons or planned races isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. And why not? It requires dedication, coupled with a body that can sustain the wear and tear caused by it. With the social media boom and several events, a lot of people feel inspired to run. However, even if people run 5 kms or 10 kms, they think it’s marathon running. But that’s not the case! A marathon has a standard distance of 42.195 kms!

So If you are planning to run, the first and foremost clarity you need is that why you want to start it.

A step-by-step guide for marathon beginners:

1. Manage your weight properly

“If you are on a little heavier side, if you are lean, if you are overall weak, or your core muscles, inner thigh and/or shoulder muscles are weak, and you take up running, the chances of getting injured in the first 6-8 months is very high. It usually happens with all the runners,” Deepak Oberoi, a seasoned marathon runner and co-founder of Mumbai-based Bombay Running, a community of runners, told Health Shots.

marathon
Slow and steady wins the marathon. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

Also, read: From bedrest courtesy an injured back to the marathon track: This is my story

2. Indulge in strength training

In order to run, it is advisable that you lose weight by proper nutrition and strength training, because when you are overweight, your upper body weight also comes down to your legs. And if you are very lean, you might have a weaker upper body and your shoulders may drop. Thanks to the kind of lifestyle that we have, with the constant usage of laptops and phones, most of us have a hunch. Due to this, our rib cage gets compressed and affect breathing. A lean person, with body weight under control, might not get physically injured in the initial 2-3 years of running marathons regularly. However, he/she might still deal with breathing issues, so strength training is necessary.

Also, read: Running a half marathon? Let this coach tell you how to power through the pain and discomfort

how to buy running shoes
Are you marathon ready? Train hard to recover fast. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Maintain a running form

You don’t get injured by running on the road, as most people think. Injuries don’t happen because of the surface. It has more to do with the way you run, your running form and your body strength is what matters. Running is basically about testing your own strength. To carry your body and run for an hour at a given speed is a way in which you can gauge how strong you are.

“Suppose, you tell a person to run for an hour, they will do so. But in that duration, that person has abused his/her body because that person doesn’t know the proper running form or technique and doesn’t have a proper running gear. Everything has to be in place for someone to run efficiently, and if not, you are running towards injury,” Oberoi adds.

4. Have a structured approach

If you have started to run, you need to value the importance of having a proper warmup because you are not using all your muscles throughout the day. But when you get into running, your entire body needs to get into motion. For that, you need to activate your calf muscles, your glutes and hamstrings, your shoulders, etc.

Oberoi asserts, “Do not run every day, you need to have a mix of everything, from shorter to longer runs. And after every two weeks, there’s a recovery frame time that you need to follow. Another important factor is a cooldown period, because when you run, your muscles are highly charged and pumping blood. You just can’t all of a sudden stop as you might end up getting cramps. Hence, having a structured running routine is vital.”

Nonetheless, it is important that first you should check your body. Then you work on your nutrition and strength for two to three months of training. Then you go to a qualified, experienced coach who will help you with the way forward. Running is simply not just wearing issues and going out for a run, it is more than that.

 

Gurpreet Kaur Gurpreet Kaur

A lifestyle journalist with a perennial hunger for all nice things in life - from fashion to food and different cultures. When she is not writing in her favourite coffee spot, she spends her time socializing with people or exploring different cities.

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