Run Like The Wind

Run Like The Wind

28 September, 2015
To The Finish Line
6 Tips to Prepare For That Marathon - Injury-Free

The winter season is upon us, and that means loads of races and sporting events! Whether you're running a 10K, 5K, half marathon, or not even running a marathon at all, running practise is a great way to take advantage of the cooler season (just avoid pollutred roads and hit some of Hong Kong's many scenic running trails)!
For runners, following the right training plan for your goal is crucial to successfully crossing that finish line, but it isn’t the only thing on the checklist. There are certain things you must know about prepping for the big day, things which may not be mentioned in your workout programme.
Read on for training tips and get ready to sail across the finish line, injury-free!
Quality over quantity
Running lots of miles each week is one way to prepare for a half-marathon, but lots of miles can increase our chance of injury. I have my new half-marathon runners run four times a week. Two of these runs are what I call quality runs and two are base maintenance runs. The quality runs consist of a mid-week tempo run and a weekend long run.
The 1-mile warm-up/cool-down and the in between miles are run at a pace about 30 seconds slower than 5K pace. Increasing VO2Max (your body’s ability to take in and utilize oxygen at the muscle layer to make energy) and pushing out your lactate threshold helps make you a more efficient runner as well as help fight off fatigue longer.
Find a training group
You might find this surprising, but training in a group can make all the difference in the world to how effective your overall training is. Pay for a coach who is leading a group training programme, or just round up your running buddies—either way would work. It incorporates discipline, because you tend to be more accountable for your workouts. Also, running a tough run with buddies can help you pull through and fight off fatigue.
Research the race
Plan ahead. First of all, start with your drink—find out what sports drink will be provided at the race and train with that sports drink. If you are running with your own sports drink, plan how you would use it. Never use a sports drink or gel during a race that you have never tried or tested before. Second, scope out the mile markers where water and/or aid stations will be provided to find out where the toilets are and just to get familiar with the route. Knowing where things are located can be very important if you begin to experience discomfort along the run.
It is also important to check out the inclination/elevation map. Take not of where the hills (if any) are located. Just because a race is being held in a flat area of the country doesn’t necessarily mean it will have a flat course, and it is also really important to be trained for various courses. Many races include the rolling hills of local parks and/or cross over high-rise bridges or ramps to and from overpasses or underpasses.
Rest is just as important as Run in a running workout. Your body has limits and needs time to rebuild, repair, and rejuvenate. Skipping rest days will wear your body out on its ability to recover and make you more injury-prone. Take your scheduled rest days. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and out of energy, or feel sore, tired, lethargic and or unmotivated, check your (resting) heart rate before getting out of bed. If it’s just a few beats higher than normal (and you’re sure you have no cold or any infections), you are more than likely overtraining and need to rest.
Fueling your body with only the right things requires thinking ahead—a lot of it. Not only on race day, but definitely throughout your training programme as well. It is in itself a huge part of marathon training, especially on the days leading up to long runs. Eat a well-balanced diet with a concentration on carbohydrates. It is highly recommended that you also go on a “carbo-load” starting from three days before your big run.
Staying Hydrated
Dehydration can take a toll on your body if you don’t pay attention to keeping your body hydrated. It could also slow down your run. Drink plenty of fluids while exercising, especially running. Dehydration can be very stressful to the body, and losing even 1% of your body weight through fluid loss can have a strong effect on your performance. However, overhydrating is also possible.
To help you stay hydrated properly, try using a sports drink such as Gatorade during your long runs (be sure, again, to try this out before the actual race day), and snack on some salty foods like pretzels, soup or saltines before you work out. During your run, drink every 20 minutes, but stop if your stomach is “sloshing”—that’s a sign that you’re definitely plenty hydrated.

By: Kristine Basilio


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