7 Stages of Completing Your First Marathon

Stage 1: Registration excitement

If you’re at our Get Fit Fest from February 9-11, which we know you’re totally going to, you’ll be in the first pumped-up stage. Partially because you just scored discounted race registration (oh yeah!) but also because you know you’re doing it this year. Yup, in just a few months you’ll be completing your very first half marathon! You’re in and there’s no backing out now because it’s official. You’ve got a number and everything. You can already feel the adrenaline in your body. You know you can do it and you know you’re going to be a champ! You can’t wait to go home, lace up your shoes, and hit the ground running.

Tip: It may seem obvious, but registering is a crucial step! Once you’re registered you’ll be able to hold yourself accountable and you won’t be able to give yourself an out later (especially when the couch is calling your name and is...so...comfy).

Stage 2: Roping your friends in...or making new ones

You’re so eager to share your excitement that you move into Stage 2: getting your friends and family to run this thing with you. But maybe your best friend would rather be your cheerleader than your running partner. It’s all good! You’ll just sign up for a Fun Run at your local Sports Basement store to join your local running community. (You’ll even get route details sent to your inbox.) Everyone there loves running so you can find people who are in the same boat as you. Plus, now you’ll have more friends on Strava.

Tip: Working out with others is one of the most popular tips for any kind of fitness training because it works! Not only do you add even more accountability to your training, you’ll also get the benefit of pushing one another to run more and run faster.

Stage 3: Finding your training routine

This is strategy time. You’ve got a goal but now you need a game plan. After a thorough Google search, you find the perfect one. Well, almost perfect. You just gotta tweak the mileage increase a tad so you’re not increasing too much at a time. Oh, and don’t forget to pepper in some gym time. And stretch days. How about a few more rest days… A few hours of strategizing (and a few snack breaks) later and you’ve got yourself the perfect training plan. That you’ll start tomorrow...

Tip: Having a plan is important but all the planning in the world won’t help you kick your goal’s butt unless you actually hit the pavement. Don’t get caught up in creating the perfect step-by-step plan because you might have to adjust your course later. Try setting looser goals so you have room to make changes. Once you’re done planning, just go run!

Stage 4: Finding your fuel

When you hit this stage, you’re trying to turn your body into a lean, mean, running machine. And to do that you gotta have the right fuel. So, you consult your doc and do the whole only-shop the-edges-of-the-grocery-store thing, and suddenly your kitchen looks like #cleanfoodgoals. You’re even quitting beer until after the race (but not wine because it’s good for your heart and your sanity). Check out our nutrition department to grab some gels, chews, or other energy boosters for your long runs! It’ll help you power through those last few miles.

Tip: Run with your energy boosting snacks (and water) for your entire training. You don’t wanna try anything new on race day that’ll throw you for a loop, so work all the kinks out while you train!

Stage 5: Upgrading your gear

When you hit stage 5 it’s because IT has finally happened. Yep. Your favorite, day-one, always-there-for-you running shoes have taken their final steps. They supported you through the good runs and the bad runs, but it’s time for them to move on to the great shoe rack in the sky. So you go down to Sports Basement to 1. Recycle your old pair of running shoes and 2. Upgrade to some sweet new kicks. Of course, you’ll get a free gait analysis so our shoe experts can match you up with a few new pairs that you know will get you across that finish line. We recommend training in different heel-toe-drop heights to strengthen your feet’s muscles. Trust us, it’s a totally sole-changing experience.

Tip: Keep a few running shoes that you can rotate on your runs to avoid overloading muscles, joints, and other body parts. It also takes cushioned shoes about a day to bounce back so give ‘em some time to do so!

Stage 6: Embracing the pain

At this stage, you’ve added more mileage to your run (woohoo!) but your body is starting to feel it. You’re cramping up more often and your muscles feel like guitar strings that are strung too tight. Yikes. So, you head to Sports Basement Berkeley’s weekly foam rolling class and you finally understand what a love-hate relationship is. You hate that your muscles are screaming at you while you massage them but you love how you feel after. “Push through the pain” has taken on a whole new meaning.

Tip: Foam rolling can help relieve cramping and tightness. Roll out your muscles before stretching out to stay loose and injury-free.

Stage 7: Race Day

This is the most exciting, nerve-wracking, and achingly final stage. Race day has arrived a lot faster than you thought it would, but here you are, at the starting line of your very first half marathon ready to kick some pavement butt! You’ve trained, you’ve foam rolled, you’ve given up chips and beer (tasty, tasty beer!) for this. The adrenaline is back, your running buddies are here, and your cheer squad is ready to take Insta-worthy pictures of you. Just remember your training, find your pace, and make sure to lift your arms across the finish line for a badass picture, you champ, you!

Tip: BrewFest, is coming to a Sports Basement near you in early April!

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1 comment

  • D says...

    What happened to stage 6?

    On February 14, 2018

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