Tips for Running a Marathon: Preparation & Recovery

Happy Athlete

Running a marathon is no easy task. It’s physically and psychologically demanding. Athletes need to know how to prepare properly if they want to succeed in their marathons without injuring themselves.

It’s not hard to prepare for a marathon. The hard part comes during training and the event itself. However, if you follow the advice in this article, you’ll be able to make sure that you’re in good shape for your marathon.

How to Prepare For running a Marathon

Preparing for running a marathon is a bit of a balancing act. You want to push yourself hard enough that you’re in the best possible shape for the run, but you don’t want to overexert yourself and arrive at the marathon exhausted. You need to balance exercise and rest perfectly so that you can show up strong, energized, and excited.

Here are a few tips that can keep you in good shape while you’re preparing for a marathon.

Schedule a Recovery Week

improve quality of sleep

While it might seem like a waste of time to take a week off, it’s really not. As long as you start training early enough (several months before the marathon) then taking a recovery week can be a great investment.

Many professionals recommend taking a week off every 3-4 weeks of training. You don’t have to take the week completely off, but you should significantly reduce your overall mileage and reduce your long runs.

Keep Your Nutrition In Check

You are what you eat! If you’re not putting high-quality, nourishing foods into your body then you’re not going to get very far with your training. Your body needs a wide variety of nutrients sourced from fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and lean meats like chicken.

Without these, you can work out all you want but you won’t get much stronger or healthier. Nutrition is the backbone of a healthy mind and body, so make sure that you take the time to develop a diet plan well-suited for your body type.

It may be worth looking into a traditional nutrition system as well, such as Ayurveda. While modern scientific nutritional analysis is very helpful, it also tends to generalize a lot. Systems like Ayurveda allow people to develop diet plans for their specific body type using foods and herbs that can optimize their health.

Be Flexible –  In More Ways Than One

planning

Of course, you already know how important it is to stretch on a regular basis. However, you should also learn the importance of being flexible with your workout routines.

All too often it happens that people become dominated by their rigid schedules. If you don’t let yourself be flexible then you’re liable to experience stress, disappointment, or anger. You might also miss out on other life opportunities which could make you unhappy or discourage you.

Don’t throw your schedule to the wind! However, give yourself a little bit of flexibility. If something comes up that you really want to do, or if you’re feeling extra fatigued or exhausted one day, don’t push yourself too hard..

Take Care Of Your Mental Health

dog with swag

Physical health is only one part of the picture. If you’re not taking care of your mental health, however, the whole picture could fall apart.

Lucky for you, exercising is one of the best ways to help regulate your hormonal health. This can minimize the chances of developing conditions like anxiety and depression.

However, mental health issues can always emerge. Stress is a byproduct of modern life itself, and when stress builds up it can be incredibly hard to focus on your marathon training. Chronic stress can also manifest as physical health problems that can impair your performance.

Whatever the case, make sure that you take time to check in with yourself. If someone suggests that you seem a little down, take their suggestion to heart and figure out what might be going on.

Supercharge With Natural Supplements

There are lots of supplements that can help you with your workouts, a well preparation for running a marathon .

CBD is a very versatile compound for athletes and runners. Its benefits extend from the physical — better sleep, decreased pain, and relaxation — to the psychological, which include reduced stress, anxiety, and depression.

CBD is often used by athletes and sports players to help speed up their training.

You can also use herbal supplements like Tribulus Terrestris or pine pollen. Both of these substances have been shown to increase efficacy in the gym. Pine pollen contains testosterone on its own, whereas Tribulus seems to encourage the body to mimic the effects of high testosterone.

The Day Of: How to Prepare for a Marathon

Immediately before the marathon, there are a few things that you’ll want to take care of. These things will ensure that your race goes smoothly and that you have the highest possible chance of success.

Stay Hydrated

Of course, you’ll be able to hydrate throughout the marathon. But it doesn’t hurt to make sure that you’re nice and hydrated beforehand.

Sleep and relaxatin

You might want to start hydrating the week before the marathon even starts. Take care to drink extra water the week prior to the race.

Eat an Energizing Meal

On the day of running a marathon you want to eat good, healthy food that will keep you sustained and energized throughout the 42.2.

This means that you should focus on high-energy foods that are digested slowly. Think proteins and complex carbs. Avoid refined carbs (hopefully you’re already doing this, since refined carbs are nutritionally useless) and focus on not effective sources of energy.

Good carbs include things like fresh corn, sweet potatoes, squash, and other hearty vegetables. Lean protein sources like salmon can also load you up with healthy fats and minerals to keep you charged up.

“Nothing New on Race Day”

If you were thinking about getting a new pair of shoes or bottoms before the marathon, think again. You want to equip yourself with gear that you’re already comfortable in, gear that you know works well with you. Nothing would be worse than donning a new pair of running shoes only to find out, halfway through the race, that they don’t fit your feet as well as you thought!

Marathon Recovery Tips

When it comes to recovery, there are two distinct periods that you’ll find yourself recovering: after your training periods, and after the marathon itself. Having a proper marathon recovery plan is important so that your muscles can recover quickly.

Most of these tips can be applied to either recovery period. If there’s anything that is specifically beneficial for post-marathon recovery, we’ll let you know.

Manage Muscle Soreness

One of the best things you can do to speed along your recovery is to manage your Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). You’ve surely had a sore muscle or two since you started training. The inflammatory effect of training is one of the biggest obstacles to overcome.

Fortunately, you can overcome muscle soreness faster by using natural products like a CBD sports balm or CBD massage oil.

CBD Balm

CBD benefits running a marathon recovery by helping you recover quicker so that you can get back to the action sooner than later.

Take Off Days

If you’re preparing for a marathon then you can rest assured that you’re going to be running a lot. Unless you’re a very experienced runner it’s probably not a good idea for you to push yourself out for a run every day. You need time to recover in between so that your body can grow stronger.

There are some professionals who manage to run every day. However, these people generally have to follow some sort of structure so that they don’t wear their bodies down. Running slowly or jogging can be gentle enough that it still allows for recovery in between heavy runs.

For example, if you do a half marathon practice session, you should follow it up with some half marathon recovery time. Pushing yourself harder means harder resting periods.

Don’t Push Yourself During ‘Easy Runs’

While most people generally shouldn’t push themselves so far as to go running every day, some insist on going for easy runs every other day. However, if you’re an exercise fiend, it can be easy to convince yourself to turn your ‘easy runs’ into ‘regular runs.’

Don’t do this. If you do then your body won’t ever have time to recover and you’ll end up doing more damage than good.  Instead, alternate by doing hard runs one day and follow this with an easy run (or just take a darn day of rest!)

Get Enough Sleep

Good Sleep

Sleep is the time when your body actually develops and grows stronger after training. If you’re not getting regular sleep, then you’re not going to be able to improve. Set aside at least eight hours a night for sleep and make sure that you’re getting high-quality, deep sleep.

Using supplements like CBD can also help you get enough sleep. CBD can also be useful for facilitating other important aspects of recovery by reducing pain and discomfort.

Sleep also helps to reduce inflammation associated with training. Combined with CBD, a supplement which also reduces inflammation, you can accelerate your recovery significantly.

Conclusion

Preparing for a marathon is no joke. You need to make sure that you’re in top physical and mental shape if you want to succeed. Fortunately, following these marathon preparation tips will make things smoother for you.

Everything from getting enough sleep to using natural supplements, like CBD massage oil, can improve the results of your marathon. Now that you know what to do, get out there and prepare for your marathon!

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