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My first marathon: 12 tips for running

By Tina Haupert

I can not believe I'll run a marathon in just over a week. I'm nervous, but so excited! Only a few years ago I never ran more than 5K. That's why running 26.2 miles is quite a feat for me!

Like most runners for beginners, I only started one or two miles at a time – and it was tough! I took side stitches, made pauses on the floor, and experienced a lot of frustration. Driving long distances is not easy! But I stuck with it, pushing myself to keep walking every time I ran. Over time, I worked my way up three miles, then five miles, and before I knew it, I trained for a half-marathon. It took me a few years to get involved in a complete marathon. As I said, driving long distances is not easy!

Here are the tips and tricks that helped me increase my mileage from 1

to 26.2!

Start Walking
The same benefits, so running during a run should not discourage a person who is just beginning. Run for one minute and walk for two minutes, then follow this pattern for a total of 15 to 20 minutes. Once you have mastered this pace, walk for two minutes and run for one. After all, you can walk longer with fewer pauses.

Perform intervals to help me walk
If you've mastered the running method, run intervals to step up your runs one step higher. They keep things interesting, help me to increase my pace, and help me keep running because I can take slower breaks. When I'm running outside, I walk the gap between one or two sets of telephone poles, sprinting the gap between the next set and switching quickly and slowly. Interval training makes me stay fast, and my training is over before I know it!

Creating a Rocky Playlist
A new playlist on my iPod always motivates me to get out of the door. In addition, the music helps me to run longer. I never want to stop in the middle of a song, which encourages me to keep going until it's over.

Getty Images

Do not give up
I still have bad runs, although I've been running constantly for a few years. There are days when my legs feel like a ton of brick and my lungs burn, but I try not to stop and walk. I'll slow my pace down to a slow pace – sometimes I just shuffle. At some point I feel better and accelerate again.

To become a runner does not happen overnight. It takes hard work and dedication, and I remember it in hard runs. It always seems to go through me!

Repeat Mantras
On really hard runs (or walking up a big hill), I want to repeat my favorite racing mantras in my head to motivate myself. My favorite: "The success is not as far as you came, but the distance you have traveled from your starting point." It always helps me to get through the hard parts. Running is for me mostly mental rather than physical!

Love my gadgets
If you already run several miles at a time and want to take your running to the next level, consider a watch from Garmin (or a similar one). Mine uses GPS technology to keep track of how far I've gone and my pace. It's so motivating. When I look at my Garmin and watch it at 10:00, I push myself to increase my pace. My Garmin also tells me how many kilometers I've traveled, so I pick up my runs and try to keep walking every time.

Setting a Goal
The best way to motivate me to run constantly is to register for a road race. Of course, you do not need to sign up for a marathon to improve your running skills. A 5K is the perfect distance for a beginner to build on. Also, on race day there is always a lot of excitement, which makes the experience much more fun.

Stretching and Rolling
Sometimes people do not like running because they are painful and miserable the next day. If you stretch after that, you can really minimize pain. After my runs, I use my foam roller to "roll out" my tight iliotibial ligaments and hamstrings. I also use my Tiger Tail to focus on tight spots, especially my calves.

I also try to practice yoga at least once a week. Only 20 minutes of yoga after a run are miracles for my body. My favorite workout after the run is called Yoga for runners. (You can get it for free from Yogadownload.com.)

Listen to my body
If you are in serious pain while walking, stop. Take a day or two to rest and find out what's going on with your body. When training for the marathon I met some injuries: IT band problems and possible plantar fasciitis.

I stretched and iced my injuries and rested for a few days before running again. I was also adjusted for new sneakers, which helped my foot pain very much. Running in old, worn sneakers can cause injury. In addition, you can have fun with new, really suitable kicks because you do not have pain all the time!

Do not Walk Every Day
Even professional runners do not walk every day. We all need days off for our bodies to recover. Most of the time I completed during my marathon training was three days in a week. Strength training, cross-training and a few rest days were there. If I walked more than three days in a week, I would be at risk of injury.

Just do it
There are times when I do not want to run – it's cold outside, I'm tired Or the gym is too full – but these are just excuses. I realize that if I want to improve and train myself for an upcoming race, I have to go out there and do it. I also know that I'll be happy within three minutes of starting a run.

Have fun
It took many years for me to run a marathon. But when I started running, I did it for fun. Okay, I also did it to burn calories! But if you can walk only half a mile then run this half mile and enjoy every second! Next time try to drive a longer distance. Go if you have to. Run because you enjoy it.

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