Running a marathon is something on most people’s bucket list. With just over 3 months to go until the 2016 Dublin Marathon, it is not too late to start preparing and training for the gruelling 42 kilometres. You’ll need a lot of determination, graft and self-belief in order to cross that finish line. So, where to begin?

1.Start Training!
Start TrainingProcrastination is the enemy. You need to make the most of your time and start training. There is an abundance of online training plans that will help you prepare. Running coach Pete Rea says: “For the first four weeks of the three month build-up, you’ll work on building mileage and putting in simple healthy time on your feet. This period is designed to strengthen connective tissue as well as improve overall aerobic fitness”

2. Eat Right
Exercising doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want. It is important to consider the calories you will be burning in order for you to create a diet with the right balance of carbohydrates, protein and good fats. Food is important for repair and recovery, as well as being fuel. Emmet Ryan is a sport and technology journalist who’s completed the Dublin Marathon 5 times and he warns against sudden diet changes:
• “You see people taking energy gels. If you haven’t been taking those during training, don’t eat them on race day. Have a chocolate bar instead, they’ll give you a similar boost but you’re used to eating them”

3. Find a Running Buddy
While the idea of training alone may be appealing to some people, the motivation and comradery of running with a friend or group can be very encouraging. Join a friend or start new with one of the many running clubs throughout the country.

4. Sign up for Other Races
There is nothing like a deadline to motivate you. Its a good idea to sign up for shorter events in the run up to your marathon. Warm up races can be used for incremental training. Try make use of the 10K and half-marathon warm ups that are available in the months and weeks leading up to the marathon.

5. Don’t Race, Run
Unless you are one of the few aiming to win the marathon, don’t consider it as a race. Emmet says:
• “If you’ve been training by yourself, it’s very different running when there are thousands of people around. Don’t try to keep up with them! Run at your own pace.”

6. Get your Gear Sorted
Running for 42 kilometres is going to tire out many parts of your body. Having the right gear is critical for those moments when you are tiring and muscles are tightening. The right runners will give you comfort as well as providing you a good solid base to build from. Make sure you have the right gear for this race as you don’t want the cold/hot/wet weather to ruin your race!