You’ve taken the plunge and registered for a city Marathon, what you’re feeling now is likely a mix between excitement and fear. If this is your first time taking on a marathon you should follow our steps to ensure success. Before beginning your training you should consult your GP to ensure your body can take the toll of an intense training program and the immensity of the big day itself. Training is not just a matter of running miles at a time, what you do when not training in terms of nutrition and hydration is as important as the training itself. These 5 tips should help first time marathon runners achieve their goal:
1. Don’t start out running too fast – your body needs to get used to the new stresses and strains associated with running. By trying to do too much too soon the chance of pain and injury increase substantially.
2. Develop a Training Plan & stick to it – the best laid plans fall down without a solid foundation. You should develop a training plan with weekly increases in distances covered; important parts of this training plan should include rest, nutrition and hydration. For ideas on great training plans already in circulation visit SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon or Great Limerick Run. If you miss a day of training for whatever reason do not be too hard on yourself and attempt to do double the work the next day as this will likely lead to injury.
3. Rest – while this may not be what you want to hear when you’re training for the most significant physical test of your life, rest is as important as training – your body needs time to recover from training and within your training plan you should have 3 rest days a week either doing no training or very limited training.
4. Train on the correct surface – there are numerous surfaces in which you can train on and each has benefits for different muscle groups. If you live near a beach, running on sandy conditions trains your muscles and makes you lift your feet higher placing a larger strain on your calf muscles. Training in a forest or park, where conditions are soft provides extra cushioning, however, the risk of injury increases substantially due to roots and rocks. Running on pavement is ideal for fast running and is the closest match to race conditions however, there is little cushioning and it can take a toll on the joints.
5. Make sure to vary your training & include core training– yes a marathon will take a huge toll on your legs in particular but it is important to vary your training and keep your body guessing as to what muscle groups you are working out. No matter what you’re training for, a strong core is paramount to success. You should think of your core as your central hub through your core everything begins; your arms swing, your hips move and your legs take strides.
Your training plan can all be managed from your smartphone and wearable tracker. To achieve your goals and keep track of your progress you may look at investing in a wearable tracker such as a FitBit, Garmin, Samsung or Apple device. Did you know that your health insurance may cover a contribution towards this as well as gym membership, gym classes, running club membership, nutritionist/dietician visits and even sports massage? To ensure you are getting the most from your health insurance speak to one of our friendly experts today on (01) 420 0999.
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*Source: https://www.runtastic.com/blog/en/5-reasons-why-bodyweight-training-improves-your-running-performance, http://www.greatlimerickrun.com/beginners-marathon-training-plan, https://www.runireland.com/training-plan-half-and-full-marathon, http://sseairtricitydublinmarathon.ie/training/