Sweaty Betty blog: Marathon
Empowering Women Through Fitness
For the 2014 Marathon, it was Clare Fraser - Assistant Manager at Sweaty Betty Walton, whose training and fitness achievements particularly caught our eye. Just 24 hours after the London Marathon, we caught up with Clare to look back at her marathon training, and find out what time she achieved on race day.
Marathon season has officially begun! With the Paris and Brighton races just a few days away and the London Marathon looming on the 13th April, all soon-to-be competitors are upping their training game for the final stretch. Sweaty Betty have rounded up some interesting marathon facts to provide that much-needed extra motivation ahead of race day.
And that's not all- as an extra prize for crossing the finish line, Sweaty Betty will be offering all the dedicated runners of any 2014 marathon an exclusive 20% off.
To help you reach the finish post in the best shape possible, we've enlisted a few of our most experienced ambassadors to give us some insight into their marathon training schedules, and tell us their top tips for marathon runners.
Mike will be poised to answer all marathon training questions – for now, he’s given us his top five marathon tips.
1. Reach for the Stars
Set yourself a goal and reach for the stars, but remember, a marathon is about more than just a time.
2. Food Glorious Food
Eat lots of carbs a few days pre-race to maximise your glycogen stores which release the fuel you need during the race. And don’t forget to add some lean protein to increase muscle strength and promote recovery.
3. Grab your Water Bottle
It takes your body 48 hours to fully fill its H2O stores. So start drinking the proverbial 8 cups of water per day for the entire week before the marathon.
4. Practice Makes Perfect
If you have a few weeks up your sleeve before the big day, it’s the perfect time to rehearse. Complete a few training runs at the same time that the marathon will start, review and practice your hydration and nutrition requirements, and make any necessary changes to your race day strategy.
5. Each Step is Precious
To be in peak shape for your marathon race day stay OFF your feet the day before the race – limit all walking (make someone else do it!).
6. 40 winks
Quality sleep is essential for your recovery and race day performance. So start tucking in early at least 1 week prior to race day.
7. Limber Up
Stretch, stretch and stretch again. Stretching aids muscle recovery, decreases muscle soreness, and reduces your chances of becoming injured! If you find stretching a chore – it might be a good time to try Yoga.
8. Spa Time
With the physical and mental rigours of your training schedule you deserve some spa time. A 60 – 90 minute massage will help relieve the stress of training and tired sore muscles.
9. Be Happy
Staying positive is essential to your race day performance. No matter what happens on the day, whatever obstacles are thrown your way; stay positive.
10. Fun Times Ahead
When race day arrives don’t forget to have fun. Enjoy the buzz of the other runners, the spectators and their silly antics. Soak up the atmosphere and make friends with your fellow runners. You will be celebrating at the finish line before you know it!
Two years ago I managed to get round the New York Marathon - no medals won (well except the one just for finishing!) but it was a pivotal moment in my life. Getting fit - and staying that way - has been the challenge since.
So when I was approached by the London Met University to try out their advanced fitness test I was delighted to be of service (if not a little apprehensive).
The test takes about 2 hours and from the basic sort of BMI tests it goes way beyond that to test your VO2 max levels, lactate threshold and your body composition. Dr Neil Clarke put me though my paces but was very encouraging (he did mention that my hangover wasn't helpful - you can't always plan these things..my best friend had just become a QC with a party the night before! And best to save your energies before the running on the treadmill bit - I had done a 10k earlier that morning (to try and clear that head!) and to be honest was a little weary by the end.
Fascinating results - this is one I would recommend to anyone really needing some helpful advice with their training - and how to improve their endurance. See more at www.londonmet.ac.uk/depts/fls/healthclinics/fitness/and maybe take the test!
Thank you London Marathon Runners.
Thank you for pushing your body and mind to its limits, thank you for being no less than amazing. The race may have ended at Buckingham Palace but the sense of empowerment and fearlessness you inspired will last for a lifetime. On race day the peace and solitude of running is replaced with the buzz and blare of the crowds, and what are often solo running achievements are now victories shared with thousands. Thank you for moving us to tears with your courage, it was a privilege to share the journey with you.
The Sweaty Betty Cheer Wall set up camp at mile 19. We cheered, we cried and were thoroughly impressed and amazed by every runner. We were also especially proud of our own SB girls, Danielle and Ashley, running their very first marathon. Well done girls! Below Danielle provides a unique insight into what it is like to run 26.2 miles non-stop.
Arriving at Maze Hill, seeing all the other runners, definitely calmed the nerves to know there were so many others in the same boat. The horn blows and the marathon begins...my legs feel shaky over my first few strides as I am not sure what I what I have gotten myself into. For the first 6 miles I try to keep my pace slower than normal, almost feels un-natural to conserve energy for the rest of the run. The water stations and shower points are a god send, it was a hot run but sipping water and lucozade at each mile made a huge difference in how I felt. The shower points were a much needed refresher. The crowd was unbelievable, coming up to mile 19, I caught a glimpse the SB flags in the distance. Seeing the amazing cheer wall helped me to pick up my stride and push through the last 7 miles. As we ran alongside St. James’ park the overhead sign announcing the final 800m gave me a huge sense of relief, I had made it without stopping. Crossing the finish line I was tired and elated!! I was so glad I had ran and was so glad it was over. Later sitting in St. James’ Park, sitting with family, enjoying the sun, knowing I had accomplished my goal was amazing.read more
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