4. Train responsibly. Do not take risks
We cannot over-stress that running a Marathon calls for a great deal of preparation. Before beginning the special training in the three months before the race, you must already be able to run 20 kilometres in one go. If you have not yet reached this point, you should ask yourself whether you ought to run the Marathon some other time, when you have proved to yourself that you can easily run a race over half the distance.
In the first week of special training for the Marathon, you must not boost the number of kilometres you run by over 10% compared with those you ran in each of the previous few weeks.
The training programme has rest days and recovery days, especially after several days of intensive training. Over-training is counter-productive and only leads to injury.
This is the moment to put all your kit to the test. Running shoes, running shirt, gels, socks, or anything else that is new during the race can bring your efforts to naught. You have 3 months to thoroughly test everything you will need for the Marathon itself.
5. Listen to your body and take care of yourself
Always: Listen to your body: Stay healthy! Incorporate stretching sessions in your training for the Marathon. It is not just a question of strengthening your legs; simple squatting and abdominal exercises will strengthen your ‘core’ and beef up your buttocks, boosting your performance.
If you feel pain or do not feel well during these 3 months, it is important that you slow down or even stop for a couple of days. If this does not solve the problem, consult a doctor as soon as possible. You might think you are wasting time but you have everything to gain in the long run.
If you feel unwell during the race, seek help from a health worker or a volunteer and you will be attended to straightaway. Listen to your body and take action if you notice something out of the ordinary. Do not ignore the problem! Take special care over the last few kilometres because that is when you make the greatest effort and you are at your weakest.