Running a marathon, or a half marathon, can be absolutely epic, but there’s also going to be times when you wished that you took up chess as a hobby instead. Here are a few handy tips that I learnt along the way to help get you to the start line raring to go.
Slow down. It sounds counter intuitive, surely you need to run faster to be able to run a fast marathon? There’s a time and a place for speed training and its not in every session. Aim to try and keep 80% of your weekly mileage at a very easy pace, a pace where you could have a nice chat is perfect.
Weekly mileage. If you are new to running then upping your weekly mileage too soon is a good way to end your marathon dream, you may feel that you need to hit the special “20 miles” on your long run asap, but build to this point. Building your mileage carefully and consistently will have a bigger impact on your training then rushing your way there.
Hit the right balance. It may sound strange, but balance on one leg and then the other. How did that feel? If you can balance on both legs the same then hop from one to the other. Running is a series of hops over a loooong way. Any muscular imbalances that you may have now could cause problems further down the line. Try and build on your single leg strength and endurance.
No pain, no gain? Pain is not good, especially if you have a sharp shooting pain. This is your body’s way of telling you to stop. If you have any niggles then it’s better to get them checked out now before they grow into something that may take a while to treat. A regular stretching and foam rolling routine may also be beneficial.
What is your why? Its mile 22.7, you ache, you’re on your 57th gel and the finish line seems light years away, this is where you need to find your why. Are you doing it for charity? Your children? Or for you? Finding your ‘why’ will help get you through the rubbish training sessions and out of bed on the days where you feel like you could sleep forever and, ultimately, to the finish line.
Don’t change anything on race day. I once coached an athlete who had a double espresso on the morning of his race….he’d never had one before…. I cant write here what happened. You have plenty of long runs between now and race day, experiment and find a breakfast the fuels you but wont upset your tummy ( I go for the classic porridge and peanut butter)
Finally plan ahead. Make sure that everything is lined up for race day: what gels are they handing out on the course? Train with these. How many water stops are there? Where are the toilets? Control the controllable and most of all enjoy the experience.
The above will help you get the fundamentals in place to get your training right. If you have any specific questions, or if you have a symptoms that are hindering your training, get in touch or, if you feel Sports Massage is needed, make an appointment and we’ll soon have you back on track.