Marathon Training for Beginners

I must emphasize right now that if you run regularly, this is probably not the post for you. If you are:

1) Not a runner

2) Attempting to run a 10k in 2 weeks

3) Looking for a way to improve your poor exercise- diet regimen

4) Trying to challenge yourself

5) Want to cheer me oncheerleaders

Then welcome welcome! Let’s go through the steps and motivate each other, because I have checked all of the above and is attempting to “run” 10k on the 26th. Now I use the word run lightly because realistically speaking I’m probably only going to run about half that distance and walk the remainder. However, I’m listening to Einstein on this one and he said, “Better aim high and miss, then aim low and get there”

I also have to note here that I’m not a personal trainer so I’m sure there are experts who can give better advise on that, but I can talk about food – after all, running on an empty or bloated stomach won’t be awesome (and possibly gassy). However, I need to say that generally when running for 5k or 10k marathon, your regular healthy lifetstyle should suffice – with minor tweeks. What I will address here are major headlines on how to train for an intense long-distance marathon. This post will also work for those who are NOT eating right and training harder or aiming even for a 5k/10k marathon – this is how to improve.

Cereal & Dried FruitThe big CC

COMPLEX CARBS- I mean you don’t have to be training for anything to know these are absolutely ESSENTIAL. You want to make sure 50% of your diet AT LEAST is from whole grains, fresh and dried fruit, vegetables, and brown rice. I only mention carbohydrates because many make the mistake of thinking all carbohydrates are created equal. Refined sugars like white four, white rice, etc.. are not the same as whole grains and will not give you the same benefits (more fiber, lowering cholesterol, preventing colon cancer and basically making the world and your digestive system a better place).

Proteins and fats are also very important but they really need to be customized to your body weight, training intensity and so forth (I leave these for private consultations).

Time your meals

No I am not talking about the 20 minute rule (though very essential). I meant what to eat is very important, but also WHEN to eat is equally important (please refer to my gassy joke from before). Moral of the story here is that you don’t want to try anything new the day of your race. You want to introduce complex carbs early on in your training and not directly on race day. You want to make sure your vitamin and mineral levels are not deficient, because if they are –  start taking remedies early and not on the day off when it might be too late and consequential.

Whether training or racing, it’s always advised to fuel your body before.

  • Have a good healthy meal about 1.5 to 3 hours before your run (if your consuming lots of protein, make that 3 hours)
  • A good snack about 30 minutes before the race

Sports drinks exist for a reason

I’m not pro buying sports drinks. Scratch that – I’m not pro buying anything you can make at home. I listed a recipe last week that can be edited if you feel you need even more replenishment. More importantly though, whether you are buying or making your sports drink – the timing at which you consume them is key. If you keep postponing that much-needed gulp to the end of the race, then it might not have time to kick in and give you that energy boost – leaving your sports drink purpose unaccomplished.

For a 5k/10k – you can get away with lots of water, but for those really intense runs – water won’t cut it. You will need to make sure you are having a good fill of sports drinks and not mixing them with water (so as not to dilute its effect).

However, it’s good to start the habit of drinking more water way before your due race date! (Maybe make some homemade ice tea)

A few days before my run I will post the top 5 foods for runners, and a sample of what my meal plan looks like. I have a feeling that my post-marathon blog post will be short, mainly consisting of me nagging about body aches.

Till then!


P.S: I also highly recommend exercise apps – like Nike Training Club or  Nike Running App or Endomondo to name a few. They help you keep track of your running regimen and overall exercise status.

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