This fall marathon season will be in full bloom.  Running a marathon is almost the Holy Grail for many runners, but a marathon is a grueling, intense exercise and should not be attempted without a great deal of training.  I recommend to new runners that they take at least a year before signing up for a full marathon and start training for a 10k, a 10 miler or a half marathon in the spring. 

The key to successfully running a full marathon is proper training, which includes slowly building up your body and legs so that you can run more miles in a gradual fashion.  It is best to get a good pair of running shoes and start slowly and run short runs on a daily basis at a nice pace where you could easily talk to someone running with you.  Gradually work some hills into your training and slowly work further distances in your training. 

It is also very helpful to do core, central body exercises like planks, squats and pushups because many runners have to stop not because of leg issues but because their core can no longer support them in long runs.  Another important item to remember is to run safely.  Wear reflective clothing, run on paths away from cars if you can, and follow the rules of the road.  Stop at red lights and stop signs. 

Many runners find stopping for water breaks and walking a bit, helps them complete their runs feeling much better, and often faster, than if they ran the entire time.  If you are working to increase your distance, look for friendly places to stop for water or a bathroom break if needed.  Running a marathon is a wonderful accomplishment.  Proper training is essential for it to be fun and safe.



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