Marathon and Half-Marathon: The Beginner's Guide

Marathon and Half-Marathon: The Beginner's Guide

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Over 20 million Americans run recreationally, but doing it right is more than a matter of buying an expensive pair of shoes and heading for the track. Building on the popularity of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook, this practical, easy-to-use guide provides a step-by-step program for running a half or full marathon for the first time. It shows readers how to get motivated and set realistic goals, choose the proper shoes, eat right, build strength and endurance, and avoid sore muscles and injury. The book includes tips from elite runners on such subjects as staying motivated when the weather is extreme, running technique, running with a dog, and running partners. Finally, the book describes strategies for the race, what to expect on race day, and the psychological effects of finishing a half or full marathon. Most importantly, it includes a full training program designed to ensure that that crucial first race is a winner.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781926685298
Publisher: Greystone Books
Publication date: 07/01/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Marnie Caron writes extensively in the area of sport health and sport training as SportMedBC’s Communications Coordinator. She holds an M.A. in Communication Studies with a focus on the health of first nations women in Canada. Marnie resides in Vancouver where she combines her love of running with her passion for politics and social development issues.

SportMedBC is a not-for-profit society that is a focal point for sport health, sport safety and sport training within the province of British Columbia. Located in Vancouver, SportMedBC provides a full-range of sport medicine and science related services to athletes, coaches, parents, fitness enthusiasts and others involved in the sport system.

Dr. Jack Taunton is known and respected as one of the top Sports Medicine Doctors in North America. He was Chief Medical Officer of the Sydney 2000 Olympics and two Pan Am and World Student Games; Medical Officer of the '88 Winter Olympics, three Commonwealth Games, and four World Championships; Team Physician for the Vancouver Grizzlies and Vancouver Canucks, and Team Physician for the Women's National Field Hockey Team. Dr. Taunton has also completed over 61 marathons. He lives in Vancouver.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 9

Final Preparations

This is it. . .the day you have been preparing for. Chances are you are in the best physical condition ever. First-time marathoners often feel a significant level of anxiety in the week leading up to their half- or full-marathon. Try to relax. Some nervousness is normal but you want to do as much as you can to calm yourself. Anxiety takes energy and the last thing we want if for you to be fatigued on your big day.

Before a marathon, many athletes like to scope out the course and get a feel for the environment that he or she will be running in. You can drive, or if you’re doing a half-marathon, you could cycle or even run part of the course. If you’re a first-timer, you might want to only run part of the course. You don’t want to tire yourself out for race day. Many people find that getting a mental picture of the course helps them to understand the terrain and visualize what race day will be like. It’s also good to know what kind of surface you’ll be running on, whether it’s pavement or gravel. The more you know about what your race will look like the more relaxed and ready you will be the morning of your event.

Plan for your race day

You have worked long and hard to prepare for your half- or full-marathon. You don’t want to leave anything up to chance at this point in the game. A little bit of planning for race day will make all the difference in how you enjoy the experience. Here are some simple guidelines for event preparation:

• Rest up the last few days before the event. Squeezing in more training at the last minute will not get you any fitter. Plan to get an optimal amount of sleep during the last 72 hours.
• Check the weather forecast the day before and plan accordingly. You need to consider what you will wear during the run as well as what you will wear after it.
• Pack your bag and pin your number on your shirt the night before. Items to consider (depending on the time of year): a complete change of clothes, extra shoes, a hat, gloves, toilet paper (you’d be surprised how often it’s needed), petroleum jelly, a towel, a rain jacket and a bottle of water.
• Be sure to drink plenty of water—two to three glasses, one to two hours before the start. (Also, don’t forget to drink water at the aid stations along the running route.)
• When driving to the race, give yourself plenty of time to park, visit the restroom and warm up.
• Warm up properly. Although there is no guarantee this will prevent injuries, a combination of light jogging and easy stretching prior to the start will increase your heart rate and help loosen joints and muscles, preparing your body for the activity ahead.
• Try to keep as warm and dry as possible before the start of the race.
• Avoid anything that’s new. That goes for shoes, socks, sports bra and never experiment with new food and drinks the day prior to or morning of your event.

Sidebar: Once the gun goes off:

- Don’t start out too fast. The first few miles should feel easy.
- Do the talk test, if you’re having difficulty speaking 4-5 consecutive sentences, you’re going to fast and you need to back off. You should not be winded or breathing hard at all in the first 10 – 15 miles of your marathon.
- Walking through the aid stations makes it easier to consume your water or food supplements and it gives you a chance to rest your legs.
- Don’t try to fit in a last minute run in the days leading up to the race. If you’ve followed the program to the best of your ability, you shouldn’t have a problem with your fitness on race day.
- On race day, try to take in as much of the event as you can. You will be nervous but if you smile and look around it will help you to relax and enjoy the moment. After all, it’s your big day and you want to drink it all in!

Anticipating your finishing time

A runner who has been training regularly 3 – 4 times a week often predict his or her marathon time by multiplying a recent half-marathon time in minutes by 2 and then add an additional 10 minutes. Beginners should add an additional 10 minutes to be safe. If a well-trained person is training for a half-marathon then he or she usually multiplies a recent 10K time in minutes by two and then adds an additional 5-7minutes. Beginners should add an additional 5 minutes to be safe.

Table of Contents

Chapter One: The marathon
- a brief history
- who runs a marathon&why

Chapter Two: Getting started
- choosing between a marathon and half-marathon
- benefits
- equipment

Chapter Three: What’s involved?
- log book
- schedule
- warm up/cool down/ training
- rest and recovery
- safety

Chapter Four: Fueling the athlete
- fluids first
- the runner’s training diet

Chapter Five: The psychology of the marathon runner
- motivation
- goal setting

Chapter Six: Becoming a better runner
- building a good foundation
- strength training

Chapter Seven: Women and Families
- family matters
- running while pregnant
- running with kids
- running with the family dog

Chapter Eight: Pitfalls and Problems
- inconsistent training
- injuries and treatment
- prevention

Chapter Nine: Final preparation
- plan your race day
- pacing
- hitting the wall

Chapter Ten: After the finish line
- recovery
- setting new goals

Chapter Eleven: Training program
- 26 week walk/run training program for marathon
- 13 week walk/run training program for half-marathon
- coaching advice

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