Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Fitness & Exercise

Font Size

8 Training Tips for Your First Marathon or Half-Marathon

6. Monitor Your Heart Rate

Enthusiasm is good, but there's a downside: overtraining.

"Check your resting heart rate every morning," Galati says. "If you see a big jump, you’re probably overtraining."

If your morning heart rate is normally 60, for instance, and goes up to 61 or 62, no big deal, he says. But if it goes from 60 to 72, back off and recover, he says.

7. Mimic Race Day

During training, "replicate the race experience," Donovan says. That is, get used to the conditions you'll face on race day.

Check out the racecourse ahead of time. Is it hilly? Will the race team be serving a sports drink or water?

Never wear new shoes, socks, or shorts on race day. Wear something you know is comfortable because you've trained in it.

8. Run With Attitude

Positive thinking from the start is crucial, Fieseler says. Tune out any negative talk you're likely to hear on the course -- and you may hear grumbling, moaning, maybe even swearing.

Replace all of that with positive visualization. Suppose you’ve checked out the course ahead of time, and you know that mile 5 begins to get hilly. When you begin the race, visualize yourself building energy from the start and not struggling at all once the hill arrives.

Then, as you run, Fieseler says to think positive thoughts, such as, "I'm defeating this hill; it isn't defeating me."

Reviewed on February 28, 2013

Healthy Living Tools

Ditch Those Inches

Set goals, tally calorie intake, track workouts and more, all via WebMD’s free Food & Fitness Planner.

Get Started

Today on WebMD

Wet feet on shower floor tile
Flat Abs
Build a Better Butt Slideshow
woman using ice pack

man exercising
7 most effective exercises
Man looking at watch before workout
Overweight man sitting on park bench
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply

pilates instructor
jogger running among flowering plants
woman walking
Taylor Lautner