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Training Tips for Marathon and Half Marathon


5 Expert Tips for a Successful Marathon Finish

Thinking about running a marathon or half marathon or currently training for your next big race? Whether it’s your first time running or one of many, just as important to your running plan is your overall mental and physical training. Debbie Bellenger, Director of Wellness at CaroMont Health, offers the primary elements of marathon and half marathon training.

Plan out your training
Make a schedule for yourself and stick to it. If you’re relatively new to running, it’s best to start out slow and gradually build up so you’re training for 18-24 weeks. Even if you’ve been running for awhile, you still have to follow a schedule. For more experienced runners, your training regimen will likely take you about 12 weeks of training.

Training days
For the beginner and experienced athlete, you should aim for 5-6 days per week of training with 3-4 running days, cross training 1-2 days and one day of stretching. Stretching is a vital element of training and will help lengthen your muscles and lessen the risk for injury. And, don’t forget to schedule in 1-2 rest days per week so your body can heal.

Avoiding injury
Because training is taxing on the body, you should consider a visit to your doctor for a routine check-up before you start training and particularly if you have any pre-existing conditions or injuries. Injuries tend to sneak up on you, so doing things right and gradually will help avoid injury later on. Common injuries for runners include shin splints and heel spurs often the result of too much in a short amount of time. Your mileage should gradually increase each week to build up to a 10-mile run and eventually 18-20 miles if you’re training for a marathon. To avoid injury, it’s important to use your non-running days for rest and recovery.

Proper running gear
Proper foot wear is critical to successful training. Running shoes fall into several categories, but most specialty running stores will know how to find the right shoe that works for you. Ask these pros to look at your feet, evaluate you foot type and watch you run. These steps will help them make the best recommendation and help you decide on the pair that matches your individual needs and preferences.

Eating the right foods
Healthy eating is important to your health, and this couldn’t be more truthful when it comes to your meal the night before your race. Carbohydrates are essential for athletes because they supply their main source of energy. And, coupled with moderate protein, you’re ensured improved strength, endurance and overall athleticism. During your training weeks, men and women should try to consume their recommended allotment of calories obtained from a well-balanced diet. And, let’s not neglect your water intake for proper hydration during training and race days. Carry your own water using a hydration pack or belt or plot your route so you’re passing water fountains.

Categories: Health