Running is a great way to get in shape and is getting quite popular with the current generation that is becoming more committed to living a healthy lifestyle. Marathons have been trending in Bangkok, especially after popular Thai singer Toon Bodyslam raised over 1 billion Baht for charity by running across the country. As supposed to running on a treadmill in the gym, outdoor running enables you to enjoy to weather, scenery, and people running right beside you.
Most of us who have never been in a marathon before usually start off with a mini-marathon just to test the waters. But no matter what kind of marathon you decide to join, it’s probably a good idea to get your mind and body ready for what’s to come. If you join such event at your best, you’ll almost definitely get the best out of it as well.
Before The Run
Don’t think that you can just wake up the next morning and run a marathon without any preparation, especially for all you newbies. The more inexperienced you are to more warm-ups you’ll need to do to prepare both your body and mind.
- Schedule Practices: Yes, you need to practice beforehand. You can either hire a personal coach or download a running app such as “Pacer” that will help you track your steps and give an overall picture of your current running abilities.
- Find a Sneaker That Fits Best: Go to your nearest shoe store and try out all the ones that you like. Be sure that it isn’t too loose or tight and remember that your foot expands with your run so choose one that has sufficient distance between your toes and the front of the shoe.
- Rest Well: If you often get excited for an upcoming event that you can’t sleep the night before, be sure to grab 7-8 hours of sleep for a week prior to the marathon so that your body gets enough rest and have a chance to repair itself beforehand.
- Eat Breakfast: Be sure to have a meal with high protein and carbohydrates, but is easy to digest as well. Don’t try anything too fancy, go for the good wholewheat bread, peanut butter, energy bar, and bananas.
- Warm-up: Sip a sufficient amount of water one hour prior to the run to ensure that your body is well hydrated. Spend enough time stretching and warming up your body as well. If you sweat a lot, have half a bottle of water before you take off.
During The Run
Even if you decide to go for a mini-marathon, it’s still a marathon. Don’t rush at the start and maintain your pace until you feel comfortable before speeding up a little more. If you hit a hill, speed up on the way up and slow down during the descent so you don’t damage your muscle.
- Stay Hydrated: Always tend to your thirst during the run. A good way to stay fresh is to remind yourself to take a sip of water every 20 minutes or stop by any pit stops available.
- Know Your Limit: If you feel like there are so many people that run faster than you, don’t get all worked up and try to catch them. It’s not the Olympics, don’t stretch yourself and just enjoy the run.
- Music Helps: Prepare a running playlist with your favorite tunes that give you energy. Some of us enjoy Hip-hop, some get energy for the 90’s disco music, but most of us go with some heart-pounding EDM. Services like Spotify or Apple Music have running playlists already set for you, so be sure to check them out!
After The Run
This is your recovery time after pushing the limits for a marathon. Take all the time you need to cool down, relax your muscles, and don’t forget to reward yourself for such an impressive achievement.
- Refuel: Within 30 minutes of the run, find something with high protein and carbohydrate for your body. Popular choices would be fresh fruit smoothies and yogurt. Be sure to drink a lot of water as well.
- Relax: When you get home, get in the shower and run some nice warm water on your skin. If you have a tub, spend some time in a warm water bath. Be sure to freshen yourself up with your favorite body wash.
- Reward: Running a marathon requires so much energy it can sometimes cause your body to weaken a little bit. Spend the next 3 days relaxing, eating well, and maybe rewarding yourself by going to the spa for a full body massage.