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Training tips for your first Marathon, 1/2 Marathon or 10K

“What have I done?…Help!”

That’s a common reaction once the excitement of deciding to enter a race has passed.  Don’t despair, today’s blog post from Reggae Marathon’s resident running expert, ‘Ask Dan’ provides some detailed advice on how to plan your training to reduce the anxiety of running your first race.


Ask Dan

You’ve decided to run your very first Marathon (Half Marathon, 10K)!  Fabulous!  Congratulations!  That wasn’t so hard, was it?  Now what?  Let me see if I can help with that. What follows is generally applicable, but since you are reading it on the Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K Blog, let’s assume that is your chosen event.  Good choice!  I’m NOT going to give several detailed training plans here.  There are lots of those out there, including at the Reggae Marathon web site.  No, I want to provide some general concepts that should help you prepare for and enjoy your race when the time comes (December 1, 2012).

Build a base. If this is a getting up off the couch VERY FIRST race, then you can’t start too soon, particularly if the marathon is your race.  An active and experienced runner who has decided to step up to the new distance, must still objectively assess his/her current base.  Pace is always relative.  Some suggest for base-building you use time, not distance as the measured quantity – ie run 60 minutes, 90 minutes, 2 hours, rather than running 10 or 20K. Run very easily.  You want to take several months to just build endurance and teach your body to know what it is to run for that long.

Train for Your Race. Most programs 5 mg original brand cialis assume a proper base, followed by 13 to 20 weeks of race specific training.  You can train alone, but I highly recommend a local running clinic geared/timed to your specific needs.  It may be exciting, but nobody is saying this adventure will be easy. Training with a group will help get you through the tough patches and you should have a knowledgeable leader.  If a clinic isn’t going to work,  a first time runner may want to consider Galloway’s Book on Running (Jeff Galloway), Your First Marathon – The Last Word in Long-Distance Running (Jack Scaff) or Running Start to Finish (John Stanton).

Be Patient in Training.  Run very slowly at first. You may feel like you will never be ready, but the more you run, the more your body will adjust.  With the same apparent effort, you will be surprised as your natural pace quickens.  Don’t push.  It will happen –  let it.

Be Patient While Racing. By race day you will have built a proper base and completed a race specific training program.  Resist mightily, the urge to sprint off at the gun.  Be patient with your early pace.    If you race smart – at an even and steady pace consistent with your training and race day conditions, you will be ready to go the distance and finish feeling good and very happy!

Setting Your Finishing Time. Set no particular goal other than to finish upright, strong and happy.  This assumes only that you will run within your ability, not that it will be super slow. I assure you, at Reggae Marathon they WILL give you a finisher medal, a coconut and a Red Stripe as long as you finish!  If it is a first race at the distance, I guarantee right now, you’ll have a Personal Best!  See you in Negril!

Thanks Dan.  Until next time…

Reggae Marathon RunninGuy


For more information, visit the Reggae Marathon Web Site.  Photograph courtesy of Anthony Foster.  ‘Ask Dan’, Dan Cumming is an author of the book, ‘Running in the Zone’ and is a guest contributor to Reggae Marathon.