Get to the Start Line of Your Marathon ready to Race
If you have been lucky enough to secure a place in a marathon this year there are some key factors you need to take into acocunt to make sure you have good marathon preparation and get to the start line in great shape ready to run. Today we review 5 simple but effective areas that can help you achieve your goals. Enjoy your training, and have a great race day.
1.Establish your training plan:
You need to find or create a training plan that works for you, your current fitness levels and your goals.
If it’s your first marathon, your goal should be finishing the race, although you maybe more ambitous, so your training plan should concentrate on building up your running distance and running on tired legs. If you’re looking to beat your personal best, make sure you incorporate hill sprints and interval training. A reminder 80% of runners aim to beat 4 hours, only 20% of runners achieve this task, so be realistic with your targets and training plans. Everyone has the capability of running faster however it will take more time and commitment depending on your starting base.
Don’t forget about strength training. Runners who skip weight training won’t strengthen the correct muscles in their legs to be able to cover great lengths and are more privy to fatigue and injury. Some of the exercises you should incorporate into your routine include:
2.Warm up and cool down:
Warming up and cooling down are essential parts of every run and should not be skipped. By properly warming up and cooling down, you can prevent injuries and get the most out of your workout or race. It should not be a surprise that you can run about 5-10% quicker if you have completed an effective warm up for your body, try it you will be amazed at the difference.
Before the race a dynamic warm up will help you prepare for the exertion of each training run or race,and should include:
- Gentle loosening exercises
- Light jogging
- Event specific exercise, such as sprinting or jumping over hurdles or running strides at race speed.
As soon as you finish a workout or race, you should begin your cool down. This is also the best time for stretching and self massage, because your muscles are very loose. Stretching gets your muscles ready for the next day’s workout. During stretching exercises, you should hold the position for between 20 to 30 seconds, and repeat three or five times per area, target your weaknesses so you are most effective with your time.
Do not wait until you are thirsty or hungry to replenish your body, by this stage it is too late and you are playing catch up. For training session that are over an hour consume water and/or energy drinks during your training to prolong energy usage.
This will make sure you eat the right foods before training and have the right snacks during training for the same reason, then when you get to race day you will know what works for you and your body, it is all about planning and marathon preparation
Your training will be during the winter where you will mostly likely have a few more layers on while running to help combat the cold. The main things to consider are your base layer (closest to the skin)
Layer 1 the wicking/base layer, the layer closest to the skin and should be made from polypropylene or silk (dry fit). Layer 2 the insulating layer this can be a fleece this layer should trap air to keep you warm but release enough to prevent overheating. Layer 3 the windproof waterproof layer this should protect against wind and possible rain which allows heat and moisture to escape.
Remember to train in your race day kit too. As a key part of marathon preparation you need to know your planned equipement for the day works for you, including and most importantly your shoes. It is a long way if you get this wrong.
5.Listen to your body!:
Although consistency is very important when training for a marathon, if your body feels particularly tired one day, heed its call and take a rest. Training for a marathon involves a lot of wear and tear on your body, therefore getting adequate sleep and rest during this period is essential so that you don’t burn out before the race.
Train Well to Race Well