There come a time in the life of every Jogging (or even jogger!) when he thinks about going on to the next level of running. The next two stepping posts are the 10K and then the half marathon. Obvioiusly the final goal is to run a full complete marathon. There is much more to running a marathon so don't be fooled into thinking its just about increasing your body's stamina. The switch from running 5k to running a marathon involves a whole new technique of running, a far greater commitment of the sport, much longer and more arduous training and a completely different mindset.
If you are thinking of stepping up from 5k to the marathon, the first thing to do in consult your doctor and get his clearance that your body can accept the strain and demands that will be placed upon it. Its important that there isn't an age limit to a marathon but you do need to be careful the older you are.
If you have decided to try moving from Jogging to the marathon, here are some factors you need to keep in mind.
· You need to have been running Jogging for at one (preferably two) years. The marathon places huge stresses on your body and unless your body has been conditioned over time to accept the 5k stress, you will not have a base on which to build up to the longer distance.
· Step up from 5k in stages. Do a few 10k runs and then a few half marathons to accustom your body to the demands of the distance.
· At least 3 months before your first marathon, you should be running at least 25 miles a week to condition yourself.
· Read up about the mental conditioning a marathon runner requires. Talk to people who are running the distance. As a beginner you will be running the race in times of over a lonely 3 hours. The mental effort involved in this kind of effort is enormous – its easy to fall into a trance like state and lose track of what is happening in the race.
· Make sure your first race is under the right conditions. It should be in the same climate and on the same kinds of surface where you have been doing your 5k running. What you really want is for your body to start to get used to the strains that is placed on it so you can feel better.
· Be sure in your mind as to why you are running. If it is to test your body and face up to the challenge, that’s fine. If you are doing a marathon for the wrong reasons you will never last so its good to tak a look at the reasons why you want to do a marathon. With that kind of motivation all you will be doing is torturing yourself.
Remember that running a marathon is not just about dragging your half dead body over the finish line. If that happens, your motivation to run the distance again will evaporate. There is more than just physical preparation for a marathon as your mind mentally needs to be prepared for what you are going through. And your mind should feel that it is something you want to do again.
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