Having just completed my first Full Marathon, in Gold Coast, Queensland Australia, I feel like I am bursting with gratitude for having been given the honor to participate.
Here are my 10 tips on running a full marathon, and running it well, so you can have the best race possible!
1. Train hard, but train specifically – i.e. Have a plan, and stick to it. Mindless long runs and running might be fine at the outset, but you really need to plan your tempo runs, your resistance training etc, to build not just your core, but speed as well. In other words, plan to do either a mileage run or a quality run. Quality runs include intervals, hill repeats, tempo runs, etc.
2. Increase slowly – Increasing your mileage slowly is key to success and also not falling sick or getting any injuries. Increase your weekly mileage by about 10 percent each week, putting most of the increased mileage in your weekly long run, while keeping the weekday mileage about the same each week.
3. Iron supplements – for the women, not only does intense training deplete iron, but you need to reckon with “the time of the month” as well. Signs of anemia included fatigue (tiredness). Fatigue occurs because your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to its many parts. Also, the red blood cells your body makes have less hemoglobin than normal. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein in red blood cells. It helps red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. So take your iron supplements folks – Sangobion in good as it contains folic acid too. This iron comes in the form of Ferrous Gluconate. It also contains Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, and Folic Acid that the body needs – Vitamin C increases iron absorption in the body, Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid play an important role in the formation of red blood cells. It Includes Sorbitol which is beneficial in increasing the absorption of iron and vitamin B12.
Here are 5 other supplements you might what to consider if you lead a stressful life, or feel constantly fatigued. Not everybody needs supplements, but these are a good set for the urban athlete.
4. Take in but don’t listen to all advice – Ultimately you decide. There’s a lot of great advice out there, like how to divide your mileage runs to 3 weekends long (35K) and one shorter run (20K) and that’s more than enough, but ultimately you decide, what, when, how, and for how long. So make you own informed judgement because nobody knows you, like you know you!
5. Sleep – Sleep is so important because that’s when your body heals and repairs. If you have trouble sleeping here are some foods that help you unwind at night.
6. Hydrate – Keep drinking a shit load of water.. it is natures best and most natural vehicle to detox and to give back energy to the system. Here’s how to keep your body activated with water. If you are training for a marathon in the heat, you can add 30% to that value as well.
7. Gel up – Practice running your long runs with gels. The better you become at anticipating when you will tire, the better you will be at knowing when to take your gels. The idea is to take them, before you fatigue.
8. Don’t train to exhaustion – If you do your sprints and resistance training but you feel like still got 10% to give, that’s good! You should never train till you’re dead tired, because that’s an accident waiting to happen.
9. Eat well – My buddy B, told me, make sure you eat the Good Shit. By that he meant, the good carbs, i.e.Complex carbs (low glycemic index) and some protein. Complex carbohydrate sources, such as whole-grain breads, brown rice, starchy vegetables and beans, deliver fiber, as well as valuable amounts of vitamins and minerals. Nutrition is just as important as the training as it’s what makes all the muscles and organ function in tip-top condition, to get you across the finish line. Check out our Race day Diet.
10. Taper – The taper is the most subjective thing I know, but it takes a little common sense to figure it out. The harder you have been training, the sooner your taper should start – i.e. a gradual reduction of 10 – 20% as early as 3 weeks before the races. For me, I find that I don’t really need to taper that early. I am good with a reduction a mere week before the races. Too often people taper too soon and undo all the great mileage they have built up. But anyway, there is no hard and fast rule – just listen to your body and it will all be GOOD on race day!
We ran the Gold Coast Marathon as part of the #thisisqueensland campaign, in conjunction with Tourism Queensland. As always, Cikipedia maintains full editorial control of the content published on this site.