MARATHON TOP TRAINING TIPS
As we begin a new year, a new decade, those who have signed up for a Spring marathon will soon be switching their minds to thinking about training and preparation. You may be an experienced marathon runner or this may be your first one. If this marathon will be your first time, it’s totally natural to find it daunting, but the good news is there are so many people in the same boat as you and you still have time to train to make sure you give it your best shot.
Here are @petegoldies top 10 tips for those running their first marathon.
1) Make sure you have the right kit to train in- there’s nothing worse than running in a new piece of clothing for the first time on race day. To make sure you have the right trainers, I recommend going into a running shop (eg Nike store or local running shop) and get your running gait analysed so an expert can recommend the right shoe for you. We are all different shapes, sizes and we all run in very different ways so it’s important that you select the right shoes for you to get you through the training and the marathon. Make sure you keep your muscles warm with tights, skins, etc in the cold weather.
2) Follow a training a plan, there are plenty online for beginners. You could also use a coach if you wanted to go one step further. And remember the 10% rule and don’t get too excited. This means don’t up your long runs or weekly mileage by more than 10% as your body is adapting to something new and you don’t want to get injured.
3) Don’t get frustrated if you miss a session, it’s going to happen with family, work, commitments – don’t try and play catch up. But do try to stick to your training plan. Time on your feet is really important to get your body used to running the distance.
4) Join a running club – running clubs offer training in groups, it’s a really good way of getting out there with people and chatting to people in the same position as you.
5) Sign up to a half marathon during your training cycle. There are plenty of half marathons across February, March & April plus it’s a good way to practice race conditions.
6) Park Run! Park run has turned into a global phenomenon and there will be one hopefully not too far from your house. It’s a 5k every Saturday morning starting at 9am, timed and again it’s a way of running with other people and challenges yourself to beat your time each week.
7) Track your training – you have a training plan and it’s a great way to look at your progress over the 3-4 month period and feels rewarding looking back each week/month, etc. Celebrate mini achievements such as first 10 mile run – have a pizza, beer, etc. I highly recommend Strava (it’s like a Facebook for running!) as a way of tracking your runs and it’s a social community full of runners and cyclists.
8) Nutrition – eating healthy will make a difference in your running but also you can reward yourself when you achieve a mini achievement. Find a running gel or running supplement right for you – it’s important to train with a gel before the big day so your body get’s used to it. People will hand out Jelly Babies on race day which is a nice bit of energy!
9) Injuries – it could happen, when people train for their first marathon as mentioned above their bodies are adapting. It’s really important if you do get injured to stop and see a physio, as most of the time a physio can work their magic. As I say most people get injured so don’t worry, just see a physio asap and work on rehab.
10) Be mentally strong! Running isn’t just a physical test; it’s a mental test as well. Break your training runs down into small segments and tick them off as you go past each marker, running is very satisfying when you a overcome tough session. Think about why you’re running the marathon…. Is it because you want to raise money for a charity close to you? Is it because you want to complete a physical challenge? Is it because you want to get fit? Have that in your brain when it gets tough! ‘’Pain is temporary, and glory is forever’’
Happy New Year! Happy running! Enjoy the training!