- Stretching and Mobility
Not one or the other. Both. They are both very important. Tight muscles don’t function properly and often lead to compensations and injury. Stretching lengthens your muscles. Mobility, mobilises a muscle. That is, it gets it moving in the way and direction it should. Mobility involves using things like rollers and balls. Two 30minute sessions per week should be the absolute minimum for someone training for a marathon.
Swimming as a recovery protocol is extremely useful for alleviating tight muscles and stiff joints. It provides active stretching in every direction and allows you body to flush out lactic acid. Even if you are only swimming a short way at a steady pace it will still help you recover from your longer training runs faster. Try to do a variety of strokes if you can.
- Interval Runs
I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who likes interval running. It always hurts. It never gets easier. You just get faster. But any good marathon training program should include interval runs. They are a proven way to increase your overall pace across long distance runs. Include a variety of intervals in your training from as short as 200m to as long as 2km.
- Strength Training
You should be including some form of weight training in your marathon training program, one to two times per week. I’m not talking about 100kg squats or anything like that. Lighter weights, with higher rep schemes can assist with building your muscular endurance as well as strengthening your core muscles (strong core muscles are crucial for running). Something like our FIIT classes would be perfect!
- Increase Your Carbs
Unless you are already eating a lot of carbs chances are you may need to increase your carbs across the course of your marathon training program. Your body needs a fuel source to get you through all those hours pounding the pavement. The best fuel source for this kind of activity is carbohydrates. Try to have low GI, slow absorbing carbs with your main meals and before longer runs (brown rice, sweet potato, wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta etc). Have high GI, fast absorbing carbs during and/or after your longer training runs. High GI carbs during your longer runs will give your body a quick energy source to keep you going. Having high GI carbs after your longer runs will help your body replace lost glycogen stores fast. This doesn’t mean you should completely neglect fats, proteins and micronutrients! They are still really important. If you’re not sure about how much you should be eating when training for a marathon book an appointment with our in-house nutritionist, Kim Bunney!