Running a marathon can be intimidating for a first-timer, especially if you aren’t properly prepared. Rest assured knowing that the Colorado Marathon is a great first marathon! The first section is a gentle downhill through the beautiful Poudre Valley Canyon that eventually flattens out gradually as you head into Fort Collins. The course eventually brings you to the Poudre River Valley Bike Trail where you’ll enjoy running alongside the beautiful river. The race finishes at Washington Park in Old Town Fort Collins — full of shady trees and a large grassy area to stretch out, enjoy an Odell Brewing Company craft beer, and relax. In order to help you prevent injury and get prepared before running your first Colorado Marathon, we’ve laid out some essential dos and don’ts for you to live by in the coming weeks of training.
DO give yourself plenty of time to train
Rule of thumb is that your marathon training should start 14-20 weeks before the race. It’s time to get started if you haven’t already!
DO rest when your body needs it
If you need to take a day off from training, do it! Your body will thank you later. It’s more important to listen to what your body needs than continuing training and ultimately risking an injury or a mental break-down.
DO cross-train as much as possible
It’s certainly beneficial to get in those long runs on a regular basis when training for a marathon, but it’s also important to balance your running with other exercises. Yoga, cycling, light weight lifting, and soccer are all excellent activities to keep you active and well-balanced throughout the training process.
DO have fun and smile
Whether you’re four weeks into training or it’s race day, always remember why you enjoy running in the first place. Smiling to the volunteers on race day or just to yourself when you’re out on a long run can help boost your mood, and in result decrease your time. Who knows, maybe staying positive will even help you hit a new PR.
DON’T wait two weeks – or worse, two days – before the race to buy new running shoes
This one seems obvious, but some of us have been there. Be sure to get to your local Runners Roost or other sports retail store to work with a professional who can properly fit you into the perfect running shoes. And please, for everyone’s sake, do it now and not two days before the race – your shoes need time to break in and your feet need a chance to get used to them!
DON’T forget that training for a marathon is hard
26.2 miles ain’t easy. Stay motivated by joining a local running club, or even meet us for our group runs for the next three months! If that won’t work for you, find a running buddy who will inspire you to get out there and run longer and harder. Try watching running movies or documentaries to stay motivated when you’re taking some time off! If you have a favorite you’d like to share leave it in a comment below for others to see.
DON’T skip out on your social life for the next 12 weeks
Sometimes when people commit to a race like the Colorado Marathon, they tend to shut out other areas of their life in order to concentrate on this one. It’s important to balance your training life with your social life in order to stay, well, sane. Saying no to a beer with friends could cost your mental sanity and burn you out faster than you’d think.
Training for your first marathon can be difficult, but at The Colorado Marathon, we’re here to keep you motivated in the months leading up to the race. If you still need to register, what are you waiting for? Click here to sign up for the race of your choice today. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay in-the-know on all of our tips, FAQs, and advice on marathon training and running.