TORONTO. June 3rd. Here is our third “Road to #STWM” BLOG, from Steve Layton. Steve is thrilled to be running his 3rd marathon this fall at #STWM as a Digital Champion. Steve is passionate about encouraging other people to test their boundaries and try running as a way to get active and improve their life. Follow his training stories on Twitter and of course, on our Epilogger SOCIAL HUB.
You Can Complete Your First Marathon This Year. By Steve Layton
You might be like I was 3 years ago, just starting out running for fitness and looking to test my limits. Or you might be an experienced short distance runner looking for a way to really test yourself with longer races. In either case, you are reading this because the idea of running a marathon has captured your heart and mind, much as it did mine long before I was even a runner.
In this blog I will share with you some of the things I wish I knew before signing up for my first marathon.
The Myth: Only Super Fast Athletes Run Marathons
Running a marathon is not impossible, nor is it the sport of only elite athletes. Here’s a little secret: You don’t even run that fast during training or at the race your first time around. The key to running your first marathon is to set only one goal: that you will finish. Big or small, old or young, the marathon is the great equalizer of road events as it is your training, strategy and determination that are the most important to finishing 42.2k.
The best part of your first marathon is a guaranteed personal best time and a race medal that you can wear proudly as a member of the marathon club! The only thing you are running against in your first marathon are your doubts, and they can be beaten.
Where to Start: Commit, Register, and Tell Everyone
In order to run your first marathon, you need to pick a race that is far enough away to properly condition yourself. The general training time is 5-6 month, making the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon the perfect goal race!
The next step is to put your money where your legs are and register for the race. Then, tell everyone you are doing it! This will not only keep you motivated to train in the coming months, but you might be surprised how supportive people are of you and your training. Register for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon here and start talking about your journey on Twitter using hashtag #STWM!
What’s Next? Training!
While you may have been able to train for a 5k or 10k with relative ease, you will need a strategic marathon training plan to ensure you are gradually increasing your mileage while improving your fitness and recovering properly. To accomplish this, there are many established training programs and running clubs that you can join. The Running Room is hosting official STWM training clinics as well as free tune-up runs to help you get on your way.
If you have a busy schedule or prefer to train on your own, there are a number of programs and apps available online.
Then What? Fueling Your Training
Once you have a training plan, the next step is getting used to fueling your runs. As you run further distances, you will start pushing your mind and body to new limits, all of which are manageable provided that you plan properly and know the types of fuel your body does and does not tolerate. You will discover through trail and error which sports drinks, gels, or other supplements work best for you. The worst thing you can do on race day is eat something new, so be sure to do your testing well in advance!
The best part about signing up for a marathon training program like the one at the Running Room is that nutrition is a topic that is covered and discussed during your course. There are also numerous resources online about marathon nutrition and fueling.
Are You Still Reading This? Then YOU Have What It Takes!
If you are still here, then you have what it takes to run a marathon! I hope this information provided a quick overview of some of the key areas to consider when signing up for a marathon. There is a lot of additional information out there about important topics such as shoes, clothing, training, nutrition, weight loss, and all the other things you will encounter and conquer as part of your personal marathon journey.
For training support, consider joining one of the official STWM Running Room clinics and join us at the free tune-up runs throughout the summer. Get to know our Digital Champions who love talking about running, answering questions and encouraging our fellow runners online.
Challenge yourself and inspire others. Sign up to run your first marathon this fall at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon like I did in 2011 and change your life. Sign up here.