The month of May seems so far off in the future why even bother thinking about it. For a couple of reasons: one, early marathon preparation will help your cardiovascular conditioning come race time. Two, it may serve as a nice distraction from the cold winter months to come. Staying in shape during the holiday season by running can even be counted as a third reason!
For beginners I’d highly recommend starting with some baseline cardio conditioning. If you’ve never ran before, test yourself on how long it takes you to run a mile. The Fargo Marathon has those race options of 5K, 10K, ½ and full marathon. Some people like to race for time, others like to have it crossed off their “bucket list” as to just complete it. Whatever the case may be, train smart and be prepared. Below I’d like to highlight some training tips that I hope you may find helpful.
Running outside, please layer up and get appropriate shoes. Compacted snow may hinder your running time, but I can tell you that your joints will appreciate the cushion over concrete. Weather note related, if it is icy outside, head into Courts Plus or your neighborhood gym. Slipping and breaking/twisting an ankle will only hinder your training. If you haven’t ran outside before I’d start slow and pay attention to how your lungs are feeling. Wear a facemask, stay hydrated and slowly increase your distance each week. I wouldn’t leave any exposed skin showing.
Recovery tactics I like to implore after running are ice, to reduce inflammation, hydration, foam rolling, stretching and proper post-workout nutrition. Beginners can expect muscle soreness and I like to combat that with recovery days. Let’s say you ran 3 miles for the first time yesterday and today you can barely move. I’d head into the gym and try maybe biking, elliptical, rowing machine or even an incline brisk walk on the treadmill to help loosen up the joints. Movement and variety of cardio machines are key. Also, on that note, I’d definitely not skip “leg day” in the gym! Train those legs once maybe twice a week. You want those muscles to be very strong to hold up the miles you’re going to put on them.
For any help with individual marathon programming you can always schedule sessions with a trainer! Whatever your goal(s) are in the upcoming race I wish you good luck, train smart and run free!