I have always enjoyed running, but purely as an amateur, 4 or 5k just to keep fit and feel good. If you are like me and would like to run a marathon one day, then I suggest you follow these 10 easy tips to prepare for your first marathon. The thing is to focus on nutrition. For more detailed nutritional recommendations, you can also read my dedicated post here – click.
- YOU CAN DO IT: If you can run a cumulated distance of 42k in a week (e.g.: 10+10+10+12), then this means that physically you can run AND FINISH a marathon.
- KEEP COOL: Stop running 1 week before the race and only start running again 2 weeks after.
- WATER: Start loading water 1 week before the race. Minimum 1.5 liters/day. After the race, drink carbonated water to limit acidity in your stomach.
- MINERALS: Get lots of minerals in your food and drinks. Water high in mineral content, yogurt (calcium), banana (potassium).
- CARBS: Start eating carbs everyday one week before: pasta, bread, rice, sweet potatoes…
- ACIDS: Avoid acidic food and drinks (fruit juice) to avoid digestion issues during the race.
- DIURETICS: Avoid diuretics (tea and coffee) 3 days before.
- FIBERS: Avoid fibers (fruit and vegetables, prefer white to whole bread and pasta) 3 days before.
- FAT: Limit fat as much as possible (difficult to digest).
- PROTEINES and IRON: During one month after the race, eat lots of red meat, even if you do not like it, like me. Your muscles need to reconstruct and your blood need to fill up with iron again. You can have some spirulin pills or ask your doctor some iron pills to complement your diet during a few weeks.
I guarantee you that these work. During my first marathon I saw many persons that were physically very well trained, had run lots of marathons before but they had to walk as they had cramps. I DID NOT HAVE A SINGLE CRAMP and I DID NOT FEEL ANY PAIN, even not the famous “31k wall”. I actually really enjoyed it! So just do it and enjoy!