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10 Most common mistakes that runners make while marathon-training!

In Marathons and Races by Surbhi Dhawan

You’ve somehow managed to delve deep inside and find in yourself the strength and the poise to train for marathons. Treat yourself to a cake just for that. Okay make that sugar free cake, or a piece of cardboard since that’s what it tastes like anyway.

You’ve sat through a zillion articles about what to do, how to train, what equipment to buy. If you haven’t done that, you should check out: Beginner’s guide for running marathons: How to start and train for your first marathon!

Here are some mistakes athletes usually make when they’re preparing for a marathons.

  1. They overstrain: 
    A lot of athletes, primarily owing to a sense of self-doubt, forget to trust their body. Make sure you have a good idea of your range, and your mileage. There’s no point whatsoever in running 25 miles a day for three months and ending up with an injury the day before Marathon Day. There may be other ways overstraining presents itself, including behavioral problems and the inability to get your heart rate up. If any of these things happen to you, take a few days off and recalibrate your schedule.

  2. They don’t wear out their equipment before the D-Day: 
    There’s nothing more annoying and heart breaking than a blister on your foot or tracks that feel weird against your skin on the day of the marathon, because of your new shoes. So make sure you do plenty of dry runs while wearing out any gear / equipment that you’re going to be using on the final day.

  3. They don’t pace themselves well: 
    When your adrenaline is pumping, its easy to get excited and maybe run a little faster, maybe overtake that tough looking woman? Definitely that muscular dude, screw him, right? Pacing is important because it’s what saves energy to get you across the finish line. Practice proper pacing during your training. You (and your body) should know exactly what pace you want to run on race day.

  4. Lack of hydration or nutrition: 
    Until you’ve seen someone collapse on the race track, you probably wouldn’t understand just how important this step is. Maintaining an account of how much you need to eat, what should your diet look like, and your water-intake is as essential to your training than practicing those long runs. Make sure you get used to a nutritious diet, that works for you and stick to it like a barnacle. Looking for some quick meal-ideas? Check out: 
    In case you weren’t aware, it’s definitely NOT a good idea to change your diet before a marathon.

  5. Not taking ‘Easy’ Days:
    Make sure you have ‘easy’ days where you run slowly. We understand, you don’t yet see a lot of glamour in it. There aren’t many movies about the guy who ran slowly, but slow days are a vital part of your training. Summon the confidence to run long distances – slowly, and keep track of how long you can sustain it.

  6. Not training for speed:
    Okay, this one is going to sound a tad bit contradictory to what we just discussed – however, training for a marathon is all about balance. If the last point is true, so is the converse. A lot of people only focus on the long game and neglect speed training. Make sure you maintain a balance between going the distance and breaking your previous best on the clock.

  7. Not signing up for smaller races:
    A lot of marathoners sign up for marathons without doing the necessary groundwork. Make sure you run a 5k, before you sign up for a full marathon. Make sure you immerse yourself and get comfortable with the marathon / race environment before you subject yourself to a full marathon.

  8. Emphasizing volume of training over quality:
    Too many people rely on quantity. Too many people run 70-mile weeks without finding out if it’s actually going to help. A shot in the dark isn’t your best bet for marathons. Contrary to popular belief, a 70-mile week isn’t necessarily specific preparation for the marathon; after all, one could run seven miles 10 times during the week, and this would not imply better preparation than 35 miles of higher-quality effort.

  9. Not carrying water:
    Long-distance marathons constantly dehydrate you via sweat (or maybe tears). Make sure you carry enough water and refuel at regular intervals. Remember that there’s no point in not wanting to stop for water and then collapsing midway.

  10. Not knowing why you’re running:
    Running marathons is as much about mental endurance as it is about physical strength. So when you’re training, ask yourself why. Ask yourself what you have to gain from it, and what is driving you to do this. It’s great to love running but running in competitive marathons goes beyond that. Conditioning yourself and combining a strong sentiment with your training goes a long way in toughening you up.
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