Prepare to train.
Make sure you have a base before you begin full marathon training. You should typically start running by May, and should aim to be able to run approximately 4 miles at any pace before starting a training program. Before May, I recommend meeting with a registered dietitian to find ways to eat that fit the marathon lifestyle.
Research your training plan.
Are you a beginner, intermediate or advanced? Do you like to train on your own or in a group? Do you have a specific goal time? There are many types of marathon training programs to fit your running preferences. Chicago has several training programs, including East Bank Club, to make sure you get to the start line ready to run.
Get your fitness foundation ready.
Most people new to running don’t realize just how much core strength and stability running 26.2 miles takes. Keep yourself injury-free by building your fitness foundation with exercises that do not include running, such as (demonstrated) plank, bridge and other abdominal exercises. This will ensure that your running form such as posture, foot placement and body position (I will talk through and demonstrate proper running form) is effective.
The next few months you won’t be running all that much so it’s a good time once your foundation is strong to build leg strength. You’ll have the time to do strength training now two to three times per week, including (demonstrated) free weight exercises and using gym equipment, and that may go by the wayside when you’re running 40 miles per week.
It’s going to be tough. You’re about to sacrifice your Friday nights, your spare time, and maybe even your toenails
Running Form Techniques:
It is important to stand with your head up, back straight and shoulders relaxed and level to the ground. Be sure not to lean too far forward or backward as this can lead to neck, shoulder and lower back pain after several miles.
Your arms should swing back and forth from the shoulder. Keep your arms and hands relaxed, with your elbows bent at a 90 degree angle at your waist.
There is some debate about where to place your feet. It is important to notice where your foot lands in relation to your center of gravity. Landing mid-foot can eliminate the chance of injury, but as long as you are not over striding, which causes injury, you should go with what is most comfortable.
East Bank Club
500 N Kingsbury St.