So you’ve decided that you are ready to run a marathon. How exciting! Now it’s time to choose you first marathon. While the marathon options are usually endless there are some things you will want to think about before you sign up for a race. Here are 5 things to consider when choosing your first marathon.
1. Time to Train
Generally you will want to give yourself 16-18 weeks to train for your first marathon. If you do not already have a base built you may want to give yourself longer than that. Consider the time of year you will be training and racing. Will you be able to train through the middle of winter or the peak of summer?
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Are you looking for a local race which will allow you to stay at home the night before your race or are you willing to travel? If you are traveling you will need to consider taking extra time to get there before the race to attend an expo and get your race packet. The location also may impact the weather on race day. Keep these things in mind when choosing your first marathon!
Some races are very big with a great deal of crowd support while others are small and less intimidating but can get a bit lonely. You will want to think about what’s important to you on race day when choosing your first marathon. Will you need alot of crowd support to get you through the hard parts of the race? The bigger races can be a little more challenging to navigate. Smaller ones may feel less intimidating but there may be parts of the course where you are running alone. Generally, bigger races also have more race support (like water stops and medical tents).
Think about what type of terrain you will want to run on (both in training and on race day). Are you looking for a flat course, something with rolling hills, or trails? Just make sure that you can train on similar terrain to where the race will take place!
Finally, there may be other logistical issues that you need to keep in mind when choosing your first marathon. For example, is there a cutoff time for the race? Or do you need to enter the race using a lottery system? Once you narrow down some race options make sure you read the website in detail so that you have all the information you need to know before signing up!
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How to Avoid Boredom While Training for a Marathon
How to Determine an Appropriate Race Goal Before Beginning Your Training Cycle
How to Adjust Your Training Plan When You Miss a Run or Workout
How did you go about choosing your first marathon?
What do you think is the most important consideration for choosing a first marathon?
How far in advance do you usually start planning for a marathon?
Now it’s time for the Runners’ Roundup! Link up your running and fitness posts below! Join myself, Coach Debbie Runs, Confessions of a Mother Runner and Runs with Pugs to post your favorite running tips, experiences, race and training recaps, workouts, gear, and coaching ideas.