My First Marathon; Preparing for Dublin Marathon 2023
On the 29th of October 2023, thousands of runners will take to the vibrant streets of Ireland's capital city to run the Dublin Marathon. If you have decided that this is the year you’d like to tick running a marathon off of your bucket list then you should have started building your mileage now to make sure you cross the finish line. Conquering 26.2 miles is a huge achievement and one that takes months of dedication and perseverance.
To help anyone new to running marathons, our team of running experts at The Run Hub have put together some advice to get you through the next few months of training and to the start line. No matter how much running experience you have, make sure you;
Follow a Training Plan
A proper training plan is crucial for preparing both your body and mind for a marathon. You can find marathon training plans online that will help you to gradually increase your mileage and incorporate suitable rest days to prevent overtraining, however, it can be beneficial to get a bespoke plan from a running coach. Getting a plan that’s tailored to your fitness level, personal goals and lifestyle can help to reduce the risk of injury while training for a marathon.
Invest in New Running Gear
When you run long distances, you need to think carefully about what you’re wearing. Running a marathon is very different from running your local Park Run and it’s beneficial to visit a running shop to buy some proper running gear. Having a gait analysis and getting fitted for some new running shoes is essential to both comfort and performance. Similarly, investing in high-quality, moisture-wicking clothing is always beneficial. You may want to consider anti-chafing products to prevent skin irritation on long distance runs too.
Prioritise Nutrition and Hydration
Fueling your body properly is vital when you’re training for a marathon. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water before, during and after runs and eating a balanced diet that includes carbohydrates. It’s beneficial to get used to taking in fuel whilst you’re running too. For example, using energy gels or electrolytes can give you a boost on training runs. Experimenting with nutrition now can help you to figure out what will work best for you on race day as well.
Don’t Forget About Cross-Training or Rest
It can be easy to focus solely on running when you’re training for a marathon, but other types of exercise can actually benefit your body and help to improve your long runs. Incorporating cross-training exercises into your routine can help to boost your overall fitness levels and strengthen other important muscle groups. Don't underestimate the importance of rest days too. They allow your body to recover and give you a chance to recharge your batteries, reducing the risk of burnout and injury as your weekly mileage increases.
Book Some Smaller Races
To make your training more interesting, you might want to find a few races to participate in during your training. These don’t need to be competitive races and you shouldn’t push yourself too hard, but participating in races offers several benefits. You can use these as a “dress rehearsal” to check things like pacing, nutrition and clothing. Running a marathon is as much a mental challenge as a physical one and a few smaller races throughout your training can remind you that you can do this, helping to get you through difficult training days.
Remember to Taper
During the last few weeks before the marathon, you need to start tapering your training. Simply put, this means reducing your running mileage, speed and intensity. Enjoying a few shorter, easy runs in the final weeks can help your body to recover from your training and ensure you feel fresh on race day. You might be tempted to go out and run 20 miles the week before the marathon but it’s the worst thing you can do. Now is the time to slow things down.
Get Ready for Dublin Marathon in October
Preparing for your first marathon can be very daunting, but the feeling of crossing the finish line will make the months of training worthwhile. Embrace the process, celebrate your milestones and remember that every step in training is a step closer to the finish line. As the big day approaches, listen to your body and ultimately, believe in yourself. When you stand on the start line, soak in the atmosphere and enjoy every step of this huge achievement.
If you need to pick up some new running essentials during your training, be sure to visit our running stores in Dublin. Our team at The Run Hub will happily discuss your marathon training with you and provide you with some tips and tricks to help.