The secret to successful marathon training isn’t in the shoes or how many years you have been running, the secret lies within staying highly motivated, training carefully and safely, and maintaining proper nutrition. Like any competitive sport, training for a marathon requires time and effort, so take the view that this is going to be a long, gradual process — and give yourself the 6 months needed to train properly and finish feeling strong.
Lomax Personal Trainer Simone Dailey has run several marathons over the years and offers the following tips to keep in mind:
1. WARM UP DYNAMICALLY
There is no compelling evidence that stretching before running actually reduces the chances of picking up an injury, but dynamic movement such as leg swings and lunges are a good way to get your body warm and loose beforehand.
2. STRETCH OUT
Stretching the calves, quads and hamstrings for at least ten minutes after your run is an important part of the recovery process.
3. THERE’S NO ‘RIGHT’ WAY TO RUN
Provided you’ve chosen a pair of shoes with adequate support, it’s really a matter of making sure you’re comfortable rather than overcomplicating things by thinking about your running style. Don’t overdo it, just keep a nice relaxed, upright stance and take comfortable strides.
4. EAT MORE
Good nutrition is so important when building up your mileage. While you may love the fact that you are fitting into a smaller pair of jeans, you won’t have the energy to train properly if you don’t eat well and often.
5. TAKE THE TIME TO RELAX
It is vitally important that you find relaxation techniques that work for you, as it will enhance your body’s ability to stay strong, flexible and supple. Whether it be massage, meditation or a combination: find what works for you and make it a regular part of your training plan.
However you choose to train, remember that you are not alone. It may be once in a lifetime or your fifth time out there – just remember that every run is a new experience and a chance to increase your endurance, strengthen your gait and better your time.
Simone Dailey is a Personal Trainer at Lomax and elite endurance athlete currently preparing for the 2012 Ironman World Championships. For more information regarding marathon training, email firstname.lastname@example.org.