5 Easy Ways To Look After Your Body During Marathon Training
It’s that time of year! If you’re ramping up the miles for a Spring marathon, take time out of your running routine to look after your body.
Check Your Running Shoes
At this time of year, it feels like you spend more time in running kit than in regular clothes. When’s the last time your running shoes got a health check? We recommend making a note in your training diary about which shoes you wore, so you can keep an eye on how many miles they’ve done. Replace them as soon as you notice uneven wear, splits or cracks, or once the trusty shoes have cranked out 500 miles. Are you sure you’re wearing the best type of shoes for marathon training? Visit a running store which has an in house treadmill and gait analysis expert. They will help you get the right size, weight and type of shoe for your gait and style of running.
Work On Core Strength
Many runners are guilty of ignoring core strength, particularly when the demands of long-distance training already take up so much time. We understand! But it really is important to work on the strength and health of your core, back, hips, glutes and posterior chain. Not only will this pay off in endurance and speed, but will encourage better posture and stride efficiency. Add a Pilates class (or DVD) to your weekly training and reap the benefits.
Prevent Injury Rather Than Reacting To It
Injury is often accepted as part and parcel of running but there’s plenty you can do to minimise your chances of serious injury. There’s nothing more frustrating and upsetting than having to take time off training (let alone having to miss the race!) due to injury. Take a strategic approach to injury prevention. Get to know your body’s signals and learn to listen to aches and pains. Seek advice from a physiotherapist sooner rather than later. Give minor injuries sufficient time to recover. And consider going for regular sports massages. Once your sports massage therapist gets to know your body, he or she will be able to help you spot potential injuries before they occur.
Optimise Your Nutrition And Hydration
During the demanding period of marathon training it’s really important that you pay attention to nutrition quality and hydration. Make sure you are eating enough to fuel and recover from all your runs. Get into a good routine and eat small meals regularly. Plan ahead so you’re never caught short without a healthy meal or snack. Now is not the time to subject your hard-working body to quick-grab foods from vending machines and petrol stations. Make sure you drink plenty, not just after training runs. Aim to get 2.5-3 litres of water on board every day (more on days when you run). This might mean working on new habits like drinking water when you wake and having a herbal tea in the evening. But, as you already know, training for a marathon takes dedication, planning and focus!
Schedule Adequate Recovery
Long runs, tempo runs, speedwork and cross training are all important to marathon success, but so is the fine art of doing nothing at all (aka recovery). You need to pay as much attention to recovery as you do to running itself. After all, you can only perform well if you’re recovering properly. And it’s during recovery that your body rebuilds, gets stronger, and increases its capacity for work. If you need an excuse to sleep more, stretch and foam roll, call it an “additional recovery session” and actually schedule it in to your marathon running training schedule as such!