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Strong Run: Marathon Readiness Tips



Marathon is not just a race; it's an exhilarating journey that challenges the physical and mental prowess of runners from around the globe. Each Marathon carries a set of unique conditions, such as high humidity, lower air pressure, different track surface conditions which demand runners meticulous preparation whether you are a seasoned runners or a first timer runner. In this blog, we will explore the causes and characteristics of marathon-induced health issues, and delve into a comprehensive approach to preparing for marathon, with a specific focus on nutrition.


Marathon-Induced Health Issues


Before delving into the excitement of the race, it's crucial to understand the potential health issues that marathon runners may face. From cramps and knee pains to more severe concerns like heart attacks, the stress of long-distance running can take a toll on the body. Dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and overexertion are common culprits.


Insufficient preparation before the marathon can also lead to after-marathon injuries and health issues. Neglecting adequate training, not following a structured running plan, and underestimating the importance of recovery can contribute to problems such as stress fractures, muscle strains, and overall fatigue. This emphasizes the importance of a holistic preparation strategy that addresses various aspects of physical well-being.



When to Start Your Marathon Preparation


One of the most common questions among aspiring marathoners is, "When is the best time to start preparing for a marathon?" The answer is not one-size-fits-all and largely depends on your current fitness level and running experience.


For Beginners:

If you're new to long-distance running, it's advisable to start your marathon preparation at least four to six months before the race. This timeframe allows for a gradual buildup of mileage, giving your body time to adapt to the demands of marathon training.


Intermediate Runners:

For those with some running experience, a three-month preparation period may suffice. However, it's essential to have a solid running base before starting a marathon-specific training plan.


Experienced Runners:

Seasoned runners who maintain a consistent training routine may opt for a more condensed preparation period, around eight to twelve weeks. This assumes they already have a strong foundation of cardiovascular fitness.


Regardless of your experience level, allowing time for proper tapering in the last two weeks leading up to the marathon is crucial. Tapering involves reducing mileage and intensity to ensure you arrive at the starting line feeling fresh and ready to perform at your best.


Five Aspects of Marathon Preparation


Muscle Training


To withstand the physical demands of a marathon, muscle training is vital. Strengthening the core and lower body muscles can improve endurance and reduce the risk of injuries.

Example: Include squats, lunges, and planks in your strength training routine to target key muscle groups used in running. Incorporate hill training to build strength and endurance simultaneously.


Breath Work


Proper breathing techniques are often overlooked but can significantly impact a runner's performance. Practicing controlled and rhythmic breathing helps optimize oxygen intake, improving endurance and stamina during the marathon. Practice diaphragmatic breathing during your runs is one of the breathing exercises that can help boost your performance. Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your diaphragm to expand, and exhale slowly through your mouth. Focus on maintaining a steady and controlled breathing pattern.




Dynamic and static stretches are crucial for preventing injuries and promoting flexibility. Incorporating a stretching routine into the training regimen helps maintain muscle elasticity and joint mobility. Dynamic stretches like leg swings and high knees before your run help increase blood flow and warm up muscles. Post-run, perform static stretches for major muscle groups to improve flexibility and reduce muscle tightness.


Mental Conditioning


Endurance sports like marathons are as much mental as they are physical. Developing mental resilience through visualization, mindfulness, and positive affirmations can contribute to a runner's overall success on race day. Visualize crossing the finish line, imagine overcoming challenging moments during the run, and cultivate a positive mindset. Practice mindfulness techniques, such as meditation, to stay focused and calm during the race.




Proper nutrition is the cornerstone of marathon preparation. Runners must focus on a well-balanced diet that includes essential nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and proper hydration.

Incorporate whole grains, lean proteins (chicken, fish, beans), fruits, and vegetables into your daily meals. Aim for approximately 1.2 to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight to support muscle repair and growth. Ensure carbohydrates make up about 45-65% of your total daily calories to fuel your energy needs, and include healthy fats, constituting about 20-35% of your daily caloric intake, for sustained energy.


Consider a pre-race carb-loading strategy a few days before the marathon to ensure glycogen stores are maximized. Aim for 7-10 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight during this period to maximize glycogen stores, providing a valuable energy reserve for the race. Adjust these amounts based on individual preferences, training intensity, and overall health goals.


Additionally, pay close attention to hydration by consuming an adequate amount of water throughout the day. Aim for at least 8 glasses (about 64 ounces) of water daily, adjusting based on individual needs, climate conditions, and training intensity. Adding electrolytes carbohydrates to the fluid can be helpful during and after the race too.


It's not uncommon for runners to finish a marathon dehydrated. After crossing the finish line, it is vital to replenish fluid as soon as possible, especially with electrolytes. In the hours following a marathon, runners should continue to hydrate and drink 24 ounces of fluid for each pound lost during the race. As always, consult with a registered dietitian or nutritionist for personalized advice tailored to your specific needs.


Life Nutrition offers a range of supplements that are easy and convenient to take to ensure to marathon runners’ daily nutritional requirements especially the micronutrients that may not be available or enough in the daily diet.


Women Everyday Complete and Men Everyday Complete, provide a convenient way to ensure runners meet their daily nutritional requirements including a complete 100% daily suggested dosage of vitamin B complex which are vital for energy metabolism, cell functions, repair and regeneration.


NMN+: This supplement promotes cellular energy production, supporting overall endurance and stamina during long-distance runs.


Joint Support and Algae Calcium: Essential for maintaining joint health and bone density, these supplements contribute to the overall structural integrity of the body, crucial for marathon runners.


Sleep Tonight: Quality sleep is integral to recovery. This supplement aids in relaxation, promoting a restful night's sleep for optimal physical and mental rejuvenation.


Deep Sea Fish Oil and Heart Strong Q10: Supporting cardiovascular health is paramount for marathon runners. These supplements provide omega-3 fatty acids and CoQ10, contributing to heart health and overall well-being.


As the Marathon approaches, runners must prioritize a holistic approach to preparation. Understanding and addressing marathon-induced health issues, incorporating a well-rounded training regimen, and optimizing nutrition with quality supplements can make a significant difference, runners can embark on their marathon journey confidently, ready to conquer the challenges that lie ahead. So, lace up those running shoes, fuel your body right, and prepare for an unforgettable running experience!




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Sara Shu

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