The answer to that question depends, of course, on the way you approach the sport and your willingness to train correctly, so you minimise a variety of risks.

Bottom line: every serious runner strives to meet both objectives, and perhaps just being aware of them in concert can help you make the important link, so you stay safer and healthier in the years ahead.

Preparation is the key to both

How do you prepare for a marathon? Everyone puts into place a ritual, superstition or programme when getting their minds and bodies ready to compete. Three great ways to prepare, especially if you’re a newbie, include:

  • Choosing the right training moves for the right distance. Even a fun run can have consequences if you aren’t aware of dangers and pitfalls that await Not convinced? Read our informative article on “Why Not Every Fun Run May Be Good For Your Health And Well-Being”.
  • Altering your eating and drinking schedule is essential as you prep for your marathon. We can help you understand the importance of this relationship so you stand the best chance of reaching that personal best.
  • Don’t take your safety for granted. If you don’t look after your physical safety, who will? Train in well-lit areas, don’t run alone at night, keep ID with you (including your blood type) and run against traffic wearing reflector gear so you’re visible. Oh, and keep the volume low on your device, please. No chart-busting tunes are worth taking a chance on losing your sense of awareness.

3 ways running correctly keeps you safe

Broken bones. Wrenched ankles. Wet leaves covering a trail path that appear dry. Can you prepare yourself for such possibilities by training correctly? You can. Consider these basics your “insurance” and you stand a better chance of avoiding an ER visit.

  1. Don’t go off half crazy when introducing your body to running. “Distance building” is a principle that can’t be stressed too often. Walk before you jog. Jog before you sprint. Increase your distances according to the way you feel and always defer to your body because it will tell you when to stop. Your job is to listen. You can always up your intensity as your body grows accustomed to its new pace.
  2. Expect the unexpected at all times. Scanning the road ahead of you rather than checking out the opposite sex may be difficult, but your safety could depend upon your focus. Match up your awareness with the type of terrain you’re transiting. Learn, for example, how to protect yourself during trail running by browsing this article so you stay safe long enough to check out that hottie another day.
  3. Get a handle on your impatience. Sure, you want to be fit enough for an upcoming marathon, but is it worth compromising your training patterns or trying to push yourself further than your body is ready to go? Worried that you haven’t allocated proper prep time? This inspiring article could reassure you that you have done so.

Sometimes, you’re better off saying no

Yes, you’ve paid your fee. And you’ve worn your training programme like a badge of honour, boring work comrades with every detail of how you’ve stayed hydrated, the new shoes you acquired and the healthy lifestyle you’ve adapted just for an upcoming event. Then, your world collapses.

You get sick. Your child or your mum falls ill. It’s your nature to keep pushing no matter what befalls you, but there are times to quit honourably because the timing is all wrong. Preoccupation with a loved one’s health can occupy every brain cell and if you’ve come down with something that is likely to have you spending more time queued at porta johns than on the race route, use common sense.

We promise that you will live to run another day and once your mind and body are fully invested, you’re going to compete like the champion you always knew you could be!

Have you felt conflicted about a marathon you were set to run? What decision did you make and how did things turn out based on that decision?

Liam Cayton

Liam is a competitive triathlete who have competed in more than 50 races around the world. He is an expert in performance coaching and holds a master's degree in applied sport and exercise psychology. He began training for his first marathon after graduating from college. As an accredited triathlon coach, he wished to share his journey of pushing over the limits. Furthermore, he is a statistician specialised in the Sports statistics and analytics.

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