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Anyone who knows me is probably laughing that I am writing this post. Truthfully, I don’t have even the slightest desire to run a marathon…or run at all, really. Maybe it’s because everyone used to make fun of the way I ran in elementary school or maybe it’s just that I’ve never been very athletic. Either way, it’s not a goal I plan to set any time soon.
But I know running a marathon is a resolution many people make and that it can be lifechanging to achieve, so I wanted to include it in this series. Through research and watching other people train for marathons, here are my best tips to reach your goal:
1. Sign up for a marathon.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but you will be much more motivated to train for a marathon (or half marathon) once you are signed up for one and have a built-in deadline. It’s one thing to say you want to run, but it’s another to actually register, pay the entrance fee and put it on your calendar. If you’re not ready to do that yet, think about whether this is really a goal you want or just something you want to keep on your to-do list because it sounds like a good goal.
2. Run with someone else.
Like most goals and resolutions, training or running a marathon with a friend (or group of friends) is a fun and motivating way to stay on track. You don’t have to train together every day, but touching base about your progress and running the actual marathon together keeps you accountable and gives you something to look forward to.
3. Be reasonable in your expectations.
If you’ve never run a day in your life or get out of breath walking up the stairs, running a full marathon next month is probably not a reasonable expectation. I’d still encourage you to take control of your health and work toward running a marathon, but think about what you can reasonably expect to accomplish and focus on that instead.
According to Marathon Rookie, you should be able to run for at least 30 minutes without stopping before you begin training for a half marathon. If you’re not there yet, pick a half marathon that is 6 to 12 months away to give you enough time to achieve your goal.
4. Get expert advice.
There are specific methods to training for a marathon that give your body plenty of time to recover in between long runs while steadily increasing your endurance and distance. There are also dozens of tips to help you protect your body while training and during a race. Be sure to research the best way to go about training and tips for running a marathon so that you’re not hurting yourself or wasting your time as you work toward your goal.
Here are a couple resources to help you get started:
- Marathon Rookie
- Hal Higdon’s marathon training site
- Marathon Guide
5. Choose the right equipment.
If nothing else, make sure you have the right shoes and a sufficient water container before you begin training for a marathon. You might also consider a watch, an MP3 player, comfortable running clothes and so on. If you have the right equipment to keep you healthy and make your training easier and more enjoyable, you’ll be more likely to stick with it over the long run (ha, I couldn’t resist!).
Have you ever run a marathon? Is one of your goals to run one? Are you signed up for a marathon this year?
The 31 Days of Organizing for a Better 2010 series is sponsored by Get Organized Wizard. Achieve your goals with Design Your Life, an e-program that’s broken into easy, manageable chunks and delivered right to your inbox each week!