As I mentioned yesterday, I devised a little list of Do’s & Dont’s of marathon training to better tackle the races I have ahead of me, taking some key points into consideration.
I thought this list (though it’s my own personal opinion) would be helpful to those who may have a first half-marathon or marathon on the mind. As I know a post like this would have been SUPER helpful when I was training for my first marathon.
My Do’s & Dont’s of Training for a Race
*Know your body & don’t be afraid to adjust your plan – My training called for 4 days of running in a row (which does not work for me), so I subbed a day of cardio in place of one run day.
*Don’t worry if you miss a day of training – One day off will not ruin you, but 2 months off just might.
* Do your homework before switching shoes mid-training – I switched into a new shoe (same type, just a newer version) right before my 18 miler and that’s when I began to have foot problems.
* Do ask your running store about any un-forseen shoe issues (such as lack of arch support, inserts ect). I was told after the fact that the shoes I bought had very low arch support, which again was a huge culprit in my foot injury.
* Just Do It! Find the time to add in strength training and other forms of cardio (besides just running) into your training plan. By strengthening the other muscles in your body you can help to eliminate an injury.
*Do Stretch after every run! This is super important as you are putting your body through so much physically, stretching is your way of thanking your body for all it did for you. This will help tremendously with recovery and can help prevent injury.
*Don’t be afraid of Ice. Icing your shins & calfs after a run can help reduce inflamation and make them feel better. Though at the time you may hate it. (Example: Filling a bath tub full of ice & cold water, ice packs on your legs, or finding nice cold river to sit in. 🙂
*Don’t sit on your bum all day after a long run. I found that by walking around a few hours after my long run my muscles were looser and less sore the next day.
Fuel & Hydration:
*Don’t be afraid to experiment. Gu’s, Gels, Shot blocks, pretzels…it doesn’t matter what you use, but for longer distances your body needs gas in the tank to go, go, go!
*Do pay attention to what you eat and drink the day before a long run or race.
*Do drinks lots of water prior to a run & find a hydration system that works for you. I used a camelbak for half of my training, then found a hydration belt that worked even better.
*Do stock up on Body Glide – and feel free to smear it anywhere you think you might chafe. Because you just never know when it will hit, and when it does…”OUCH!”. It’s also good for the feet to help avoid blisters, I hear.
* DO: Try and do atleast one long run in your marathon outfit. I had no chaffing issues until my 20 miler.
* Do seek medical attention if you think you may have injury. Atleast ask a coach, physical therapist etc for advice on what to do next.
* Don’t keep running through the pain! Sometimes taking a few days off running is the best thing you can do, and if you are close to your taper week when this happens (like it did for me), those last few runs before the big race could break you, more than make you.
Well, I think that covers all the major issues I had during my marathon training. If you have some advice to add, please leave it in the comments section.
And here’s to training for my next race with taking all these points into consideration…Especially the stretching after every run & more cross training. 🙂 Happy New Year’s Eve Eve!