Stephen Cunningham is the Principal Physiotherapist in our Penrith practice. He is also a veteran of more marathons than we can count, a number of 100k runs, a lot of Ironman triathlons (each of those finish with a marathon), and more crazy stuff. He has generously shared his knowledge borne of much pain and stupidity over many many years (he won’t appreciate that emphasis…)
If you are thinking about running a marathon in 8 weeks then by now you should have been running for a few months. Running a marathon for most people is achievable – it’s all about planning and preparation. Here are my top 10 tips that you should be consdering now:
- Increases in training distance and time should be gradual. You should be adding roughly 2 km each week for your long runs up to a maximum of 30km.
- Make sure you have a good rest or recovery program. Do not back up hard sessions; instead consider an ice bath, stretching, yoga or even going for a swim.
- Watch those niggles –if something is still sore after 2 days then get it looked at.
- Shoes – make sure your shoes are designed for high mileage and supportive. Watch our upcoming post about this – but the latest research suggests that the most important factor in reducing injury is wearing comfortable shoes!
- Don’t train in racing shoes.
- Generally speaking 4-5 runs a week including:
- 1 speed session
- 2 up tempo runs
- 1 long run
- 1 recovery
- Your long run by now should be up around 30km or at least getting close to it.
- Make sure you recover after each session with good hydration, stretching and rest. Don’t skip these, you will pay the price.
- Begin to experiment with nutrition for your race. Common types of “body fuel” are gels, sports drinks or even the good old “mars bar” –Use what works for you in training so you have confidence in racing. Never, never try something for the first time on race day.
- Try to do some races before (not a marathon) 10km or even a half marathon is great preparation.
Remember to always remember that exercise is supposed to make you feel good and be fun. Training with a friend or a group is a great way to take the grind out of all those kilometres.