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How to train for a marathon - essential lifestyle tips

Do you have 'do a marathon' on your bucket list? Having ambitious goals is a great way to make you take a step back and look at how your current lifestyle can help or hinder you getting there. If you want to train for a marathon, here are some helpful lifestyle tips to consider, especially if you're a smoker. It's a hefty mission - but you'll get an amazing feeling of accomplishment when you're done!

Quit bad habits

The first thing to do when marathon training is to quit bad habits. You'll need your heart and lungs in the best condition possible, so avoid smoking, excessive drinking, and eating too much unhealthy food.

Smoking is the most important thing to give up. You'll start noticing the positive effects of giving up smoking after a day, and you'll be able to run a lot faster and for longer with less effort.

If you think you'll struggle to give up smoking, give e-cigarettes a try. They are a lot less harmful to your health - and they are cheaper too!

Start running 3 months before

3 months is the minimum training time for a half-marathon. Start running 12 weeks before to give your body adequate preparation time.

You'll need to increase your distance by 1-2 miles per week, with recovery runs in between. You shouldn't train up to 26.2 miles (the marathon length); aim to run 22 miles the week before. This will ensure that your body isn't worn out and is ready for the big run on the day.

Change your diet

Runners need to eat specific things. You'll need plenty of carbs to use as energy sources, so when you're doing your big runs make sure that you fuel with pasta or pizza beforehand!

It's also important to eat plenty of protein, including meat, fish, eggs, and dairy. However, if you are vegan, you can still get plenty of protein from sources like tofu, tempeh, nuts, seeds, and beans.

And, of course, make sure that you're loading up on fresh fruit and vegetables. These contain essential vitamins and minerals that will help your body repair quicker and ultimately be able to do that 26.2 miles on the day.

Running a marathon is no mean feat, and plenty of runners will tell you that the training is the hardest part! However, by starting training early, eating the right food, and cutting out bad lifestyle habits, you've got a great chance of running the distance in an impressive time.

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