Lots of popcorn, white sugar-laden snacks and sweatpants are the most important tips you need to know when training for a marathon. (This applies for movie ad TV marathons only.)
The first thing that comes to mind when people say they are training for a marathon? “You’re crazy!”
How come? What are these mystical things called marathons? Marathons are 42.195 kilometres (or 26 miles and 385 yards) long. The marathon is named after a messenger in ancient Greece who ran 42 kilometres to a city named Marathon to deliver a message…before he collapsed and died.
There has obviously been a lot more research and thought put into marathon training since then. If you’re thinking about training for a marathon (you brave soul!), here are some important tips:
Instead of running your full marathon length as a practice (um, do you have a spare 4-6 hours?), try tempo running. A popular way to train for marathons, tempo running involves a slow 15-minute warm-up, a quicker 20-minute ‘comfortably challenging’ run, and a 15-minute cooldown. This increases your body’s metabolic fitness and trains your body to deliver oxygen to your muscles at crucial times. (Hashtag science.)
2. Take Rests
Running can be addictive – especially if you have a goal time you want to achieve. The body needs a break or you can get injured (to learn how to avoid injury, go here.) Take a rest day once a week or every two weeks at the very minimum.
3. Listen to Your Body
If your knees and back are sore, and you’re minutes behind your desired goal time…train differently. Try high-interval spinning instead. Make sure any injuries heal or they may get worse or turn into a chronic condition.
4. Simulate Race Conditions
If you know your race is going to be in a high-altitude area, train in a high-altitude area or train with an elevation training mask. Air quality, weather, temperature, and road conditions are all important factors when training.
5. Train with a group
Running with a group can help increase the competitive level of your training. It will also help to simulate race conditions and ease any race jitters (if you get nervous by your fellow runners!)
Try a half-marathon or a longer run before your ‘real’ race as a practice run. You may learn some new things about your training being in the race environment that you may not have noticed while training solo.
7. Know Your Sweat Rate
Weigh yourself before you run and an hour after you run. You can figure out how you need to replenish yourself on race day. Hydration is key.
8. Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail
Nutrition and hydration are so important on race day and can cause more problems than a lack of training will. Plan what you will eat and drink on race day. Eat within 45 minutes of your race start or you will have no energy in the tank!