The most important tips for preparing for a marathon
Experienced runners know that setting up and following a proper pre-marathon plan is essential for the good results at the actual event. Even if you have ran in many marathons, there may be some essential parts of the preparation for the big event which you are missing.
Here are the basic tips to consider when planning and preparing for your next marathon:
- Determine your perfect stride. To finish an exhausting running event such as a marathon it is essential that you find the perfect running technique. Train and test the proper technique which will get you through the long distance. Longer strides tend to fatigue the muscles, and shorter ones will waste more energy -so make sure you find the right balance.
- Your running shoes are vital. There is no doubt that the appropriate running shoes can get you to the finish line successfully, which is why you should pay special attention to your footwear for the event. You should get shoes which fit the size and shape of your feet, arches as well as your gait type. It is wise to spend more on good running shoes if you want to finish with a good result and injury free!
- Take precautions against those blisters. Apart from picking the best running shoes, make sure you pair them with appropriate socks too. Try out the double layered running socks which help prevent those painful blisters.
- Don’t forget about cross-training. Preparing for a marathon does include a lot of running, but do not limit yourself to only that. Take the time to do some weight training, swimming, yoga or cycling to improve your overall level of fitness and to allow your body to rest from all the running.
- Add calcium to your diet for stronger bones. Eat calcium rich foods and take some supplements to improve bone and joint health.
- Work up your mileage slowly. To prevent overtraining and injuries – increase your running mileage gradually. One or two miles per week is the recommended and healthy increase to be aiming at.
- Avoid wearing heels and uncomfortable shoes. This is crucial if you want your feet, shins and calves to be healthy and strain-free for the event.
- Monitor your heart rate. Use a fitness tracking device with a heart monitors, so that you can log your mile splits and track the progress you are making over time.
- Stack up on the ice. Make sure you place ice packs on your shins for about 5-10 minutes not only if you have an inflammation but as a preventive measure after a run.
- Keep the nipples safe from chaffing. Wear the appropriate type of bra, such as a maternity bra to keep the breast steady in place and add nursing gel pads to keep the nipples from chaffing.
- Be careful with the pre-race carb loading. Eating a load of pasta on the night prior to the marathon could lead to some negative effects such as shifts in the GI, feeling heavy and slow and other problems. Drink some carbohydrate sports drinks instead.
- Prepare your gels beforehand. Premix them with either water or a sports drink in smaller bottles, so they are ready to drink at any point of the marathon. The recommended intake for gels is every 30-45 minutes.