1. Consult your doctor or family physician and get advise from him/her if your body could sustain stressful training for a marathon race.
2. Maintain a Training Journal/Training Log or a Running Diary with the following data: Date & Time of Run; Duration/Time of Run; Distance of Run (Miles/Kms); Weather; Place of Run; Brief Description of Run (LSD, Speed Runs, “Fartlek” Runs, Fast Continuous Runs @ Race Pace, Tempo Runs, Hill/Trail Workouts or Altitude Training); Blood Pressure & Pulse Rate before your run; and overall feeling before, during and after the run.
3. Progressively increase your weekly mileage but not more than 20% of your previous week’s mileage. Don’t forget to “listen to your body”. Do not overtrain/overstrain your body.
4. Use your training shoes on D-Day of the Marathon Race. Do not use your brand new running shoes on race day. Do not use also racing flat running shoes.
5. Do your stretching exercises before and after your running workouts.
6. Always set aside one or two days per week as your rest day. If injured, take more days to rest. Two weeks is the least you can rest due to injury and be able to catch up and adjust with your marathon training. However, if you miss one month of your running workout, it would be best to scrap your plan to run your first marathon race.
7. Maintain your body hydrated during long runs. Use any available “water/hydration” belt or pack in the sports stores like “Camelbak, Nathan, Access or Nike” for your long run practices only. I take a sip of water from my bottle jug every 3-4 kilometers.
8. Don’t miss your long runs during the week. Try to run at least 3 hours or 35 kilometers in one of your long runs at least 5-6 weeks before the Marathon.
9. Eat moderately and properly. Take a lot of carbohydrates and protein foods. Try to drink not more than three bottles of beer after long runs and speed runs. Take also multi-minerals & vitamins everyday. I take Centrum, Vit C & E, Calcium, & Glucousamine (for my joints/knees) tablets everyday. I also drink Protein Whey after my Gym Workouts.
10. Don’t be afraid or ashame to walk during your long runs. Take a sip of water from your water jug while walking. Take at least one or two minutes of walking and get the feeling of starting to run again.
11. Join road races as part of your marathon training. Select at least one road race every month, 3-4 months before the marathon. Join 10K up to Half-Marathon (21K) races to evaluate your training program. This will also train you to be confident and remove the feeling of nervousness in joining road races.
12. Sleep more hours during nighttime as you increase your mileage. As an average, sleep at least eight (8) hours every night. Take a warm shower before bedtime.
13. Get a decent body massage at least once a week.
14. It is advisable to have your running workout once a day. Preferably, in the morning as most of the road races are conducted early in the morning.
15. Reward yourself every time you reach your training goal every week/month or every road race you join before the marathon.
16. If possible, get a running partner who trains and prepares for the same marathon race you will join. (Note: I don’t follow this as I enjoy and more comfortable running alone)
17. Read and browse back issues of Runners World Magazine or previous posts of my blogsite to maintain positive feeling on your running program.
18. Think positively. Position your running shoes & running attire in a distinct place in your bedroom where you can see them once you wake up from your bed in the morning.
19. Remember that your primary goal in running the marathon is to finish the race without any injury. You have time to analyze and evaluate yourself on your strengths and weaknesses during your recovery period/after the race. You can make adjustments with your training program if you want to improve your PR best time in your next marathon race and always remember that there are more marathon races in the future.