1-Which marathon prep should I choose for my first marathon?
For a first experience, the time on the half marathon (21km) is the most suitable reference.
The running time of this half-marathon will give you a more or less precise idea of your time on a marathon and will help you choose your training program.
However, you must be careful because each runner reacts differently when the distance is doubled (the marathon distance is 42 km), so the loss of speed will be more or less important according to the qualities of adaptation.
Therefore, to run a first marathon, it is preferable to choose a wider plan in terms of time.
For example: if you have run your half marathon in 1h45, the choice of a training plan for a first marathon in 4 hours seems totally feasible.
However, you don’t necessarily take into account the possible difficulties that may arise on the day of the marathon.
So, it is more reasonable to make a plan in 4h15 in order to be sure to achieve it.
In addition, check your schedule for the next 8 to 12 weeks (there are indeed marathon training plans of 8 weeks, 10 weeks and 12 weeks), in order to adapt your training schedule to your personal and professional constraints.
2-Can I really last 42km after this plan?
For your first experience, the goal is to finish the marathon. It’s perfectly normal to be impressed by the distance you have to cover but there’s no need to stress.
Above all, it is important to run with pleasure and without pressure.
Once your running training plan is established, you need to be positive. During your first marathon, don’t hesitate to alternate running and walking if necessary.
3– What should I do if I feel that I am not trained enough?
Don’t doubt the quality of your preparation, reassure yourself by re-reading your marathon training plan.
You will then see that you have been accumulating kilometers for weeks. Overtraining is your enemy.
Your marathon training must promote progressiveness and recovery in order to help you cross the finish line of your race serenely.
It is normal to have doubts before the race, but don’t forget your best ally, which will be a two-week recovery period before the race.
4-What is the recovery period?
Before your first marathon, you need about two weeks of recovery (sharpening) to reduce the fatigue accumulated during intensive training. This pre-competitive period is essential for a successful marathon.
During the recovery period, it will be necessary to reduce the volume of training so as not to exhaust your body and let it recover enough energy for the race.
For example, if you are used to running 100 kilometers, only 50 kilometers will be enough.
On the other hand, you should not reduce the frequency of workouts established at the base by the training plan. (This recovery period is integrated into the Jiwok marathon training).
5-Can I be reassured by the fact that I’m going on several long outings?
Running 42 kilometers or more can reassure you, but it is not necessarily good for you. In fact, by doing so, you will accumulate fatigue at the very moment when you need to store a maximum of energy.
If you still want to do some long-distance outings, make sure you don’t do them during your recovery period, otherwise you might get tired before your race.
Keep 15 days of recovery time to have a better chance of success in your race (Recovery during your marathon training is really important).
6-How can I avoid fatigue during my marathon preparation?
In order to prepare a marathon, you must first of all respect the preparation plan that alternates sessions and recovery.
Avoid doing two intensive sessions two days in a row, because after a strenuous session, you need to regain your endurance.
In addition, make sure you get a good night’s sleep by going to bed and waking up at set times during the 8 to 12 weeks of your preparation.
Despite this, if you feel abnormally tired, cancel your session.
Know that your preparation will not be altered, on the contrary, you will leave rested, re-motivated and regenerated.
7-Sleep problems before the race, what to do?
Disturbed sleep is a completely normal effect. It is largely due to the state of excitement you are in, but also to stress.
The controlled dosage of your efforts as well as a healthy lifestyle throughout your preparation should allow you to be in shape.
However, if sleep does not come, do not force yourself to stay in bed !