Training for a marathon? A growing number of Canadians have an interest in taking part. Unfortunately, a strong resolve isn’t enough to get you across the finish line. Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or you’re thinking about taking part in your first, training your mind and body should be a top priority. Here are a few tips to help you train:
Build your stamina
Whether you’re new to marathon running or take part in the races annually, building up your mileage, stamina, and the overall strength of your body can go a long way towards helping prevent injuries. You could start by extending your run by one to two miles each week to gradually improve your endurance. By devoting at least three to days days a week to training for up to three months, you will establish a strong base-line fitness level to support your marathon. You might also opt for a personal trainer or sport psychologist who can help you prepare physically and mentally.
Nutrition is one of the most important things you should focus on. The food you eat provides your body with the fuel it needs to run, support muscle growth, and stay healthy and strong. With rigorous training and exercising, your body will be burning up energy faster than ever, and that’s when you’ll need essential nutrients more than ever. You might choose to incorporate a protein and fibre-rich diet into your routine, and may increase carbohydrate intake as you get closer to the day of the marathon.
Putting in miles and consuming the right essential nutrients is only half the work. The other half requires ensuring that you give your body enough time to heal after training. We call this “recovery time”. This step involves getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, stretching after every training or running session, warming up, and giving your mind adequate time to adjust to the changes in your body.
Don’t overdo it
You may be inclined to keep training until your marathon date, but be careful not overdo it. Rigorous training can take a toll on your body, especially if you’re not taking sufficient time to recover. A balanced lifestyle is crucial in marathon training; it’s not just about running! Look to massage therapy or physiotherapy to address muscle soreness and help with recovery.
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