Ready to Run: Preparing for a Marathon

If you’re up for one of the most grueling physical challenges of your life, a marathon is exactly what you’re looking for. Not only is it a tremendous workout for your body, but many marathons are held in support of charities with the proceeds going to a good cause. The best part is, running experience isn’t even necessary to participate in a marathon. In fact, if you are in a healthy state, it may take less than six months to transform into a marathon-ready runner.

Stay in Shape

While you don’t need to have a ton of running experience to participate in a marathon, it does help to be in the best shape you can possibly be. That includes eating a healthy diet and engaging in regular physical activity. Even just a daily walk or a jog in the morning can get your cardiovascular system pumped and prepared for that marathon on the horizon. For those who bought a gym membership and never went back, use it! Especially if you’ve already paid for it, you might as well get in there and put that equipment to good use.

If you’re not the type who likes going to the gym, perhaps it’s time to invest in some home exercise equipment to improve your physical conditioning. The stationary bicycle is an old favorite, and treadmills effectively replicate the experience of walking or jogging. Lifting weights will help build muscle. However, the most complete workout can be achieved with the use of a home rowing machine. Athletes of all kinds train on home rowers because they exercise every major muscle group. For more information, visit http://www.homerower.com/concept2-model-d-rower/ and do your research.

Small Steps

When you’re just starting your preparation to participate in a marathon, you should always start with small steps and climb your way to the top. Literally, find some stairs and climb to the top to gain stamina for the big day. Here are a few other tips to help you prepare and be ready for your marathon.

Strength Exercises

For runners, strengthening exercises help prevent you from suffering an injury while you are on the track. Performing the proper exercises will aid in your quest to be a fast, efficient, and strong runner. Focus on the muscles that will help keep you balanced. Most of these exercises require up to half an hour to complete and only have to be done twice a week. Grab your yoga mat and get started.

Planks

Lay face down on your elbows and make sure your feet are spread apart. Ensuring that your body is aligned, your shoulders should be just above the elbows. Hold this pose for 45 seconds to a minute. You can add time slowly as you start to notice your core getting stronger. This will work your lower back, your shoulders, and your core.

Scorpion

Get yourself into a push-up pose, with your feet up on a chair or bench. Lifting your right knee away from your left shoulder, circle your hips up and to the left, pushing yourself as far as you can. Now change directions, circling your hips up and to the right, and try to touch your right foot to your left shoulder. Do this exercise for 30 seconds with your left leg before switching legs. This will work your shoulders and core.

Back Extensions

You will need a stability ball for this exercise. If you don’t have one, don’t worry – you can do the same exercise movements on a yoga mat. Start by positioning yourself face down on a stability ball and make sure your feet are spread apart for proper balance. Elbows should be slightly bent and your hands should lightly touch the ground for full stability. Lift your torso upwards until your body is parallel with the ground. While lifting your torso, allow your hands to come off the ground and keep your elbows slightly bent. Moving your arms overhead, try and hold this position for a few seconds. Lower your arms and torso back down to the ground, then bring your thighs and your arms upward while your torso is touching the ground. This will work your shoulders, middle back, and lower back.

Good Luck!

These techniques should give you a head start on your marathon preparation. Now get out there and give it your best effort!