How to run your first 42.195 kms, by Shajan Samuel

“Everything you wanted to know about yourself, you can learn in 42.195 kms”

All amateur runners have this unbridled ambition of running their first 42.195 kms. A full marathon is the real deal& therefore there is no surprise that everyone wants to jump on to the bandwagon, sometimes a little too fast.

Running is a natural form of human evolution & primary instinct; I find it strange when people tell me “I can walk but I cannot run”.

I ran 10 k’s for 4 years before graduating to half & then ultra, I ran my first 42.195 after completing 85 km’s at the 12-hour stadium run in Delhi in bone chilling cold. It just happened like that; it was not designed. Therefore the modus operandi varies from people to people.

I would urge all amateur runners to build the aerobic base, this encompasses, breathing, HR, strength training, form &technique, if you are overweight start with walks, reduce weight & then graduate to running. Running on excess weight will lead to bad form which in turn can have a cascading effect on your knees, leading to injuries.

Once you have a strong aerobic base & have run quite a few 10 k & 21k ‘s you can run a full marathon (42.195 km) with 5 months of customized plan. I would recommend running only 1 full marathon a year, else it will compromise form leading to injuries.

Max 70 km running a week, with 1 long run not more than 2.30 hours, hill repeats, speed drills, 1 tempo run, 2 days of strength training, 1 day of complete rest , 8 hours of sleep , good nutrition . The key is to recover fast so that you can be ready for the next run.

You can follow this plan for 4 months &in the 5th month can taper down.

You need to only run at 70 % of your goal run, the key is conserve energy for the big day.

Start of the run go slow, break the race in to four zones of 10 km’s each, just be relaxed & enjoy yourself, this is your firstmarathon, the objective should be to finish the run injury free & with no fatigue. Pls remember the Marathon starts at the 36th km, that is when you need your mind & body to be totally aligned. Have enough gas in the tank so that you can sprint the last 1 km to the finish line.

Pls do not try anything fancy during the D Day, no new shoes no new attire & no spicy food before the run. Apply Vaseline to prevent chaffing. Keep sipping, keep yourselves hydrated, just focus on your plans& keep talking to your inner self.

Once you cross the finish line you can be incredibly proud of yourself, you have a story worth telling your grandchildren. Have a good meal, savor the moment, celebrate the win.

Shajan Samuel

April 14, 2021

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