Get up and go

Las Vegas Marathon

My first marathon - the 2002 Las Vegas Marathon (No Video - just a screengrab)

Outside Magazine posted an article in their fitness section about how to properly train for your first marathon. In this case, they’re using the NYC Marathon as a target, considered one of the sports’ best contests.

Despite what most believe, marathons, relatively speaking, are not “that” difficult to train for and complete.

I should qualify that a bit.

To train properly, that is, without injury or serious setback, you have to take it seriously. You need to run in the rain, you need to lace up at 6:00 a.m. in 35 degree overcast apocalyptic gray crud and you need get outside when running is the last thing on earth you want to do that day. If you take it lightly, you won’t be successful.

Now, all that being said, with a rather uncomplicated weekly running plan, you can be finishing training runs well into the teens within a couple of months, sometimes sooner. (Assuming you started from a two-mile-every-other-week-on-the-treadmill regimen.)

Like most who start training for their first marathon, you will very likely surprise yourself.

Some other things to consider: you can’t buy your shoes at the big box sporting good store. Sorry Dick’s, you don’t make the list. Find yourself a running specialty store with guys who eat Clif shots for lunch and weigh under 170. Trust me on this.

Oh, and you can’t run 10 miles in cotton. You’ll also need to start carrying water with you and some even bring food along for runs that will be more than hour. I like to carry some peanuts or almonds.

Lastly, don’t take your first marathon too seriously, either. I don’t think you need to invest hours in some esoteric motivational Zen running book or run in your bare feet for at least one mile for every three. Whatever. Just stay consistent. Stay motivated.

Anyway, give the Outside piece a read.

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