Marathon season is starting, there are events beginning all over the world. If you are in the process of running your first marathon or are a seasoned veteran if you fail to prepare for the big day you will find it tough and in some cases nearly impossible to finish. we have scoured the net for a variety of tips and training aids to help you in your big day.
1. Train & Prepare
The worst thing you can do is not prepare for a race of this size, length. If you are undertaking your first marathon you will need to put the work in leadign up to the day. Essentially you will need to do 2-3 smaller runs (4-5 miles) and then a longer run (10-15 miles) per week for your legs to get used to the distance and get your muscle memory working due to the build up of lactic acid during the race. Not running any length of distance and your muscles won't be able to take the strain. Please see below an approximate guide to aid your training, please note this is a beginner guide and if you have run marathons before and want to better your time you may want to increase the distance from the table below:
2. Get the right Equipment
You might think you can run in anything on the day but footwear is an essential part of finishing the race and avoiding injury. Make sure the shoes have the right amount of cushioning and essentially are the rignt size to avoid blisters e.t.c.
Eating the right things at the right time will not only help boots performance but will keep you motivated on those training sessions prior to the race. See below some examples for nutrition:
1. Caffeine, taken in moderation, will help improve your performance on a run.
2. Stay Hydrated! Drink fluids early and often. Keep a water bottle handy and sip on it all day long - you’ll feel a difference immediately. Use the water points situated when you are feeling sluggise or see that you are sweating alot less the avoid dehydration
3. Carbohydrate should make up about 2/3 of each meal. Carbs are the most important source of fuel for your muscles and your brain. Choose carbohydrates that are high in fiber, such as whole wheat bread, pasta, bran cereals, oatmeal, potatoes, and popcorn.
5. Eat frequently and eat a variety of foods. Make sure you eat three meals each day and two or three healthy snacks. This will help prevent energy highs and lows throughout the day and make you more energized for training runs.
6. The best time to begin your recovery is 15-30 minutes after a training run of over 60 minutes. The blood is still flowing rapidly and can quickly carry carbohydrates and protein to tired muscles.
7. Figure out your sweat rate: You need to replace approximately 3 cups of water for every pound lost during a long run.
8. During your marathon, or any run longer than 60 minutes, you’ll need to consume 30-60 grams of carbohydrate per hour and 6-8 oz fluid every 15-20 minutes to maintain your energy and stay hydrated.
9. Fat works with carbohydrate to provide lasting energy to the body. It also allows for proper nutrient absorption and provides essential fatty acids the body needs daily, such as omega-3’s and 6’s. Also, reach for plant fats from vegetable sources such as nuts, seeds, and avocados. Finally, go easy on the saturated fats such as butter, cream, and fatty meats.
4. Do the run for a good cause
Doing a marathon for a charity is a great way to motivate you on the day and helpign a charity in need will spur you on and get the backing off your friends and family. There are a great number of charities out there that can be personal to your family and doin this for them will giev you great personal satisfaction while helping people who need it. Check out the full range of worldwide charities here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_charitable_foundations
Enjoy the day, you deserve it after the hard work over the last few months! There all maners of people to help on the day from marshalls, public cheering you on, the water stations, your friends and family. Good luck!