Marathon Running Tips From BodyMed
With only four weeks to go to the VHI Women's Mini Marathon, the team at BodyMed, the multi-disciplinary healthcare clinic on Clontarf road, have some tips for women on how to make the most of your training and preparation for the event!
This training plan is for first-time runners or joggers or those returning to running.
Week 1: At this stage you should be up to 3 runs per week, for example 1 x 7km jog at a comfortable pace, 1 x 5km run near race pace, and 1 x 8km jog at the weekend at an easy pace.
Week 2: You should stay at 3 runs per week. Continue the 5km and 7km runs during the week on alternate days. At the weekend increase your jog to 9-10km at an easy pace.
Week 3: your 5km run should be at race pace. The 7km run should remain the same and at the weekend you should increase your run to 10km, but keep it at an easy pace.
Week 4: In the week before the event, you should include a taper, or ease down period so that you are fresh for the day of the event. This week you should jog at an easy pace twice during the week, for example 1 x 4km and 1 x 6km. You should do no running the weekend of the event. This will ensure you are ready for race day.
Note: You can also include some cross training into your plan, for example, cycling, swimming or aqua jogging. This will help to increase your fitness but will also add some variation to your training and help prevent injuries, as well as warm up and cool down. Foam rolling is an essential component to include in your warm up and recovery for your Mini Marathon preparations.
Warm up: Foam rolling the main muscle groups: glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves. Pre-run, foam rolling is believed to activate muscles, increase blood flow and break down fascial restrictions thus reducing the likelihood of injury. As a rule of thumb, always roll then if you are tight after rolling, stretch. Stretching pre-run must be dynamic, hold your stretch for 3-5 seconds then switch sides, repeat 4-5 times on each muscle group
Cool Down: Again foam rolling has been found to assist in the muscle recovery post exercise. Stretching during your cool down should be static, that is, holding your stretch on the main muscle groups mentioned for no less than 30 seconds.
Nutrition and hydration: The perfect pre-race meal will prevent hunger before and during the race and be easily digested. The morning of is not the time to test out foods you haven’t eaten before! Consuming carbohydrates in the hours leading up to an endurance event has been shown to increase muscle glycogen uptake which is critical for optimal performance. However, the glycemic load of those carbohydrates is also critical. High glycemic carbohydrates too close to a run will cause a rapid rise in blood sugar and subsequent crash that could possibly impact negatively on performance. Therefore, low glycemic options such as oats or rye bread 2-3 hours should be consumed in order to provide a source of carbohydrate to sustain blood glucose without causing a blood sugar spike. Drink adequate water to fill and empty your bladder before the race. Consider your warm up time, travel time to the race, and waiting around time and use this time to drink plenty of fluids without over-hydrating.
For more tips and advice come to BodyMed’s free running lecture on the 7th May - click here for details.