Beginner Marathon Training Guide

Beginner Marathon Training Guide

When it comes to marathon training, the most important thing to do is to attain peak fitness levels without injuring yourself as you prepare for long and short runs. This can only be achieved by following a proper training routine under competent guidance. Here are some expert tips.

Training Tips And Schedule

Below are a few guidelines that will help make your training effective and reduce your chances of injuries:

1. An ideal schedule is 5 days a week. This gives your body 2 days of rest to recover.
2. Warm up before each session. This is important to prevent injuries. Warm up for 10 min to get the blood circulation revved up and flow into your muscles. Follow this up with proper stretches for 15 min to enhance flexibility and suppleness.
3. Your training should also include whole body fitness (one exercise per body part to stretch muscles like the gluteus maximus, quadriceps, hamstrings, calf muscles, pectorals, latissmus, deltoids and the core muscles) for cardiovascular conditioning and muscle endurance.
4. Have an optimistic outlook for better visualisation of how much you can run.
5. Consult your doctor/physician to gauge your current fitness status.
6. Light massage three days prior to the run will help relax your muscles.
7. The best way to train is to start slow and build up until you peak 3 weeks before the marathon. Training too hard in the initial stages could reduce your sustenance and motivation. There is also the risk of developing injuries.
8. The training program should be coupled with rest to allow your muscles to recover faster. Lethargy and fatigue are another symptoms if you overlook rest periods.
9. Eat right at the right time.
10. Take sips of water at every station during the run. Hydrate yourself well even during the training schedule to prevent muscle cramps. Coconut water or diluted orange juice is helpful. The temperature of the water during the run must be just cool enough to keep the core body temp down and to prevent heat exhaustion.

Nutrition And Diet

It is important to give fuel and nutrients to the body to optimise your performance, boost endurance during exercise, and recovery after exercise. A macronutrient ratio of 50% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 20% fat are recommended.

1. Eat a lot of fruits
Foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and millets that are rich in antioxidants are necessary for preserving cell integrity. 

2. Say no to smoking
Stop the intake of all ergogenic aids like creatine, caffeine and other stimulants.

3. Go the veggie way
Include brown rice, oats, whole grain cereals, beans, legumes, sprouts, soya, soy milk, tofu, fruits, flax seeds and nuts/dry fruits in your diet.

4. Give spirits a miss
Cut back on high glycemic foods like desserts, soft drinks, alcohol, maida or refined flour products, fried snacks etc.

Training Gear 

1. Select the right gear
An ideal gear for a marathon must include comfortable shoes that give proper heel support. 

2. Wear the shade of white
Wear white coloured cotton shirts or T-shirts. These are preferred for better heat absorption.

3. Don’t make a fuss
Avoid accessories like scarves, stoles, cell phones, ear phones etc. 

4. Wear a pair of shades
A pair of sunglasses can be handy if the run day is sunny and bright.

Post Marathon Tips To Follow 

Relax your muscles
Ice your muscles as this will reduce inflammation without inhibiting tissue repair.

Eat nutritious food

To cover up for the lost energy Immediately after the run, make sure that you eat something nutritious and healthy. This can be as simple as a banana, yogurt, or a nutrition bar.

Stretch after the run
Do light activities 2 days after the run. Light exercises and stretching accelerates recovery period and enhances blood circulation.

Relax your muscle
Do light activities 2 days after the run. Light exercises and stretching accelerates recovery period and enhances blood circulation.

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