Marathon season has arrived in full swing. Are you ready for your big day? Certified trainer programs help fitness professionals assist their clients with endurance training and support in reaching their fitness goals. Here are some tips that you can use to make sure you are ready to line up at your marathon starting line:
- Respect your training plan. Running a marathon is a huge feat – 26.2 miles to be exact. Your training plan is designed to build endurance, stamina, speed, and strength safely. Your trainer or running coach knows that you should not increase your distance by more than 10% each week to prevent sports injury and other stress related pains. Individuals that try to train with more than 10% increase in distance each week will often succumb to stress fractures and chronic joint pains that prevent them from competing in marathon events. There are no easy ways to work out when training for a marathon. It takes time, patience, and perseverance with your training plan to be successful in distance running.
- Monitor your sports nutrition. Endurance hydration and nutrition can be a challenge for some individuals. Aim to consume between 200-300 calories per hour of distance running to replenish lost glycogen stores and prevent low blood sugar. These numbers can be adjusted to fit your individual needs. Hydration and sodium levels should be maintained to prevent dehydration and cramping. Be sure to train with whatever nutritional choices you plan to use on marathon day. Do not experiment with new foods on race day. Eating new foods on competition day could result in GI distress.
- Honor the rest day! Most distance runners will take one day off a week from training. This allows their bodies a chance to heal and can reduce chronic aches and pains. Some individuals will take their rest day to participate in an active recovery workout such as yoga, walking, or swimming to stay active but use different muscles so that their running legs can have a break.
- Have fun at your Marathon. A marathon finish line is worth celebrating. It is a celebration of all of your hard work, training, and dedication. If you are stressed or nervous at start line, it can take your focus off the fun. Don’t worry about who is in front of you or behind you. Each runner is running a race against themselves and each runner is on a different personal journey. The fun part is getting to celebrate that finish and accomplishment with everyone else regardless of the “how” or “why” in your training and perseverance
Marathon season can be an opportunity to personally accomplish something big and be part of a bigger supportive running community. If you are new to running, hire a running coach for additional tips and mental strength for motivation and mental endurance. If you are a slower runner, celebrate the finish line not the finish time. Lace up and get moving!