With the Boston Marathon just around the corner, we are seeing a lot more runners starting to filter through our doors. We know that training for a marathon is hard enough, but having to dodge, turn, parry and spin from possible injuries makes matters even more arduous. Here are just a few simple tips to keep you on course to realizing this ‘bucket list’ achievement.
1. Recovery is part of your training:
You are starting to add more miles to your weeks as you ramp up. Reward your body for its efforts by taking the time to properly recover from your workouts. Obviously, a massage is a great way to recover, but that’s not the only means of doing so. Something as simple as a proper cool down walk (10 min), post run, is a fantastic way to allow your body an easier return to homeostasis.
2. Adjust your nutritional intake NOW:
Many runners fail to see the value in proper nutrition. When running 26.2 miles, your biggest opponent is not your legs, but rather your stomach. Take the time now to determine what supplements you will be able to consume while on the course. Finding out at mile 7 that a Goo makes your stomach do back flips is not the best path to a successful day. Also, take the time to understand what the optimal time is to intake supplements. Taking a supplement when you feel hungry is TOO late. Your body has already begun to store energy (survival mode).
3. Find your cadence:
When the race begins, it’s very easy to start fast and run with the pack. Before you know it, you just ran a 7 minute mile, well off your normal 9 minute mile pace. Understanding your cadence now, creates neuroplastic changes that, when done consistently throughout training, will allow for your natural cadence to reign you in before the adrenaline sends you flying out of Hopkington.
4. Don’t ‘run through’ an injury:
Too often we have runners who come in several weeks or months from the time they first felt a ‘tweak’ some place. As you up your mileage, you are essentially adding more and more wear and tear on your body. It’s completely normal for one to generate an overuse injury. Take precautions now by not ignoring the little things. It doesn’t make you a wuss. It makes you smart. Nothing bothers me more when I see a runner have to bail on the race because they failed to observe the signs of potential injury.
I hope these few tips will start you thinking about your training path for the next 6 weeks. If your goal is to raise your arms in victory when crossing the most illustrious finish line in the world, than heed this advice and you may very well surpass even your own expectations.