Sweaty Betty blog: Training
Empowering Women Through Fitness
Mike will be poised to answer all marathon training questions – for now, he’s given us his top five marathon tips.
Cornwall is one of our favourite places to go on holiday. I used to worry about the weather and what we would do if it rained the whole time, but now that the kids are older we just go surfing. Having grown up in hot countries, I only discovered the necessity of wetsuits in my adult life, and they are brilliant. Cold rainy weather? Who cares. Jump in the sea in your wetsuit. Problem solved.
I may not be the best at surfing, but I love it. It's a tough upper body workout, especially in the Cornish waves, and catching a wave and standing up is exhilarating. The best part is that the whole family loves it too.
Well, isn't it lovely Betties, spring is finally here! The mornings are getting lighter, and too, the evenings! Everyone is in slightly better form with the prospect of warmer weather and longer days. The daffs are starting to flower, one can even buy a bunch from good old M&S for a mere 99 pennies! I have a bunch adorning my desk to add a little cheer to my day! March is nearly over which means...oh crap!!!!!!!...the London marathon is nearly here!!! OK scrap all that gorgeous-days-of spring chat...we've got more important things to talk about...like 26.2 miles baby!!!
OK, so, you're doing the marathon, or you know someone's friend's dog's aunty who is doing it. All of those people you see in droves running for miles at the weekend are sure to be marathon entrants. So where are we at with just 4.5 weeks to go? (As someone running the marathon, I like to do the countdown to the decimal point e.g. 4.5 weeks as opposed to 4...4 is a much scarier proscpect!). You're probably scheduled to do your longest run this weekend or the following, and then it's all about reducing your mileage for the big day! So let's make a checklist shall we! Every girl likes a list!
1. Stick to your training plan:
You will have been following a 16-20 week plan, which will seem like forever, but with just 4.5 (it's all about the decimals) weeks to go, now is not the time to make any changes to your programme. No tweaks, no adjustments!
How are your trainers looking? Are they still giving you the suport they once did? Trainer life lasts approximately 3-6 months for regular runners. If you've been training for the big one, and you've had your trainers for longer than that, you've got just enough time to get a fresh pair (same make and style as the previous ones...again, no tweaks, no adjustments), and break them in before the big day.
3. Aches and Pains:
If you are nursing a niggling injury and are just ploughing through it, then do be sure to get some professional help. Vowing to yourself to just get through it, may lead you worse off in the long term!
4. Food & Drink at home:
You're about to put your body through its paces. I know I don't really need to mention this, but now is not the time for the McDonalds diet (even if they do make salads nowadays). You want to ensure you are stocking up on lean meat and fish and plenty of fruit and vegetables. Also opt for somplex carbohydrates like rice and sweet potatoes, over ones that will bloat you like bread and pasta.
5. Food & Drink when racing:
26.2 miles is a long way. Sadly a bowl of porridge the morning of, will not last you throughout the race. Be it sports drinks or sports gels you intend on using, you must add them to your long runs now. Some sugary drinks and gels can lead to severe cramping during the race if your body is not used to them. I'm a fan of Go Gels, less gloopy than the other gels and mildly more-ish!
6. Food & Drink the week before:
You may have heard of carb loading, which is essentially depleting your body of carbs about 6 days before the race and then loading up on them 3 days before the race to store as much energy from food as you can to ideally reduce the chance of hitting a wall during the race. I'll cover this in more detsil over the coming weeks.
Do you plan on listening to music on the day? If so, choose your songs wisely! I'm going to post about what will be on my playlist in the coming weeks, and do let me know the tunes which you intend on running to. I generally set my playlist to how I will feel at each stage. Mile one is all about the party tunes, and then mile twenty, is hard core kick ass beats that will help me push through!
Again, 26.2 miles is a long old time! Make sure you wear comfortable clothing. How will you know if it's comfy? Practice your long runs in your intended marathon garbs.
I'm going to be all about the marathon for the next 4 (.5!) weeks so feel free to comment with any questions that you might have on injuries, food, training, race plans etc. Fit Girl About Town musings...
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