Tips For Fall Marathon Season from Tips For Fall Marathon Season
Tips For Fall Marathon Season
Tips For Fall Marathon Season
What makes a marathon worth running? In addition to the chance to challenge both your physical and mental limits and to prove to yourself that with hard work you can achieve just about anything, you get to join an elite group of people. Only 0.5 percent of Americans have done it. Any healthy person can finish a marathon, but how “ready” he or she is varies wildly from person to person, Jessica Sebor, marathon runner and editor-in-chief of Women's Running magazine, says.
Focus on YOUR race
It’s hard to teach patience to people who love to race and compete, but you have to stay focused and persistent. “If you’re running a long distance, it’s crucial to focus on YOUR race—not anyone else’s, Sebor says. “Getting caught up in the pack and going out too fast is the best way to hit the wall and finish feeling crumby.”
“Practicing visualization during training (closing your eyes before a workout or as you go to sleep and picturing yourself focused, running your race) can be helpful in staying centered, Sebor says. “Having a cue—a word or a hand gesture that carries a special meaning for you—works for some runners, too,” she adds.
Did you choose the right training program?
There are a few key factors in building a long running fitness. If you are training for a specific distance, find a training plan. “We have some great free ones for all levels at womensrunning.com, Sebor says. “When you look at the first week or two, the runs should seem relatively easy. This means you’ve chosen a program with a baseline that matches where you’re at,” she adds.
Don’t run at the same pace
It’s about speed, distance and recovery. “One super common mistake runners make is running at the same pace every single day, Sebor says. “By varying your pacing (running faster on speed days and slower on easy days) you will allow your body to adapt to training and help you improve much more quickly,” she adds.
Ease into hard training
Runners may have taken a little break during the summer from long-distance running or from training. “Ease into it and be okay with where you are right now,” Sebor says. “Pretend you’re starting from zero and add mileage and intensity back in slowly,” she adds. “Forget about how far or how fast you used to run before you took a break. You’ll get there. It just takes patience.”
Reconsider food restriction
“I don’t believe in food restriction,” Sebor says. “Pay attention to how foods make you feel. You’ll probably notice that a huge steak and a bottle of wine the night before a long run doesn’t feel so hot the next day.” A quinoa salad with chicken and avocado may make you feel great and it is a much better choice. “Avoid foods that get in the way of your training, but indulge when your body is craving something,” she adds.
What you eat before your race – and in the weeks leading up to it – can be the deciding factor on whether or not your body can really survive those long runs. Eat enough carbs, the body’s preferred energy source. Protein helps rebuild muscles, so it is extremely important after a long run to repair the damaged muscle tissue and create new tissue. Nutrient-rich foods include whole grains and starches, lean proteins, healthy fats, and colorful fruits and veggies to provide antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
If you simply want to build endurance, try to avoid adding too much mileage or intensity per week, Sebor says. One factor that never changes in any marathon preparation program is the fact that you have to run a lot of miles while training. The body has to get ready to endure the strain and pressure. You have to keep running, but you should also do spinning, swimming, or yoga. Cross-training is key. Your body is recovering by increasing blood flow to the muscles but you’re working different muscles.
Find a race that excites you
“The most important factor when picking a race is your motivation level,” Sebor says. “I recommend choosing a race where you can recruit a friend or two to sign up, too. Even if you don’t train together every day, it’s great to have that extra little bit of accountability,” she adds.
Adapt to cooler weather
The good news for the people who would prefer not to be outside in cooler weather but still want to get healthy is that, according to a recent study, you actually need shockingly low number of miles under your belt a week to reach that goal. Less than a mile a day – for a total of six in seven days – will do. Tips for running in cooler weather include wearing the right fabrics, warming up very well, wearing a windbreaker, hydrating, and covering ears and fingers.