With the popularity of the London Marathon (which took place on the 26th April) and running season well and truly upon us, it’s time to get our running shoes on and start pounding the pavements. Whether you’re participating in an event this season, or want to work your way up to longer runs in the future, these 5 tips will help you go further and faster than ever before. On your marks, get set, GO!
1. Take Your Time
If your event is just around the corner, this advice may come too late. However, for future distance events, it’s crucial that you give yourself enough time to train. Doing too much too soon could take you out of the game with potential set-backs including stress on your joints and nasty injuries. The pros suggest giving yourself at least 20 weeks to train for a marathon, gradually increasing your distance by 1-2 miles each week.
2. Consume Carefully
Good nutrition is essential to good marathon preparation. Increasing calcium and ensuring you’re consuming enough calories to sustain your energy levels during and after training are both crucial. Hydrating yourself properly is also key. As you approach your marathon, increase your carbohydrate intake by 10% with meals including bread, pasta and brown rice to help you sustain your run and ward off injury.
3. Stop Running!
It might sound counter-intuitive, but the strain running puts on your joints can be very nasty. It’s important not to push yourself too hard on the track, instead mix up your regime with low-impact exercises like cycling and swimming. These will increase your endurance and fitness, without taking a toll on your body.
4. Take a Break
Training right up to race day is a big no-no. You need to conserve your energy for the marathon ahead, so make sure you take a break before the big day. Concentrate on resting up and getting into optimal condition with low-impact exercise and good nutrition instead of hitting the pavements.
5. Use Your Head
You’ve put a lot of time, effort and energy into getting your body ready for those 26.2 miles, but on race day, it’s your mind that can really let you down. It’s important to maintain a positive attitude throughout to help you go the distance. Take some time before you run to look over the course map and think ahead. Break the route down into smaller manageable chunks and be sure to reward yourself as you tick each one off the list with a positive mental boost!
Now go get ’em! And good luck.
Are you running a marathon or getting into running this summer? Share your experiences and training tips with other readers below.