- Build up distances and effort gradually over time
- Run as regularly as possible - but not too often
- Listen to your body
- Variety is the spice of life - don't run the same routes at the same pace all the time
- Run off road as often as you can - a softer surface will reduce the impact on your joints
- Try to build a regular pattern to your training so your body and mind can accustom themselves
- Remember your muscles and joints need to recover from exertions - enjoy rest days
- Try a little cross-training on rest days - maybe swim or cycle or the gym
- Incorporate different types of training into your 1wk - 2wk training cycle - see later for ideas
- Record your training in a diary - a reminder of your achievements and encouragement to keep going !
TOP TWENTY TIPS
- Enjoy your running - do not over do it
- Always warm up and stretch properly
- Dress appropriately - be seen be safe and keep warm
- Look after your shoes.
- Try to run with others - it helps motivation
- Join a local club or running group
- If you feel unwell, don't run - wait until you feel better
- If you are injured see a physio or massage therapist - never ignore injuries they don't just go away!
- A sports massage once every two weeks will help keep you in good physical order
- Use the help-line for advice ~that's what it's there for
- Drink lots of water
- Watch your diet
- Keep a record of your training - you can then see the progress you are making
- Your training schedule is designed to prepare you to run the marathon, so take it seriously but don't push yourself too hard too soon
- Always warm up well before races and jog to cool down afterwards
- Always tell your partner where you are running and carry a coin for emergency phone calls
- Don't forget the sections on stretching and mobility
- Take care in icy condition
- Run off road on grass or tracks whenever possible, it reduced the risks of impact injuries
- Get loads of sponsors to help you raise funds for your chosen charity.
Most importantly enjoy the challenge and motivate yourself in the knowledge of the good work you are doing.
DO's and DON'Ts
Warm up properly and make sure you stretch a lot
Wear appropriate gear and keep it clean and in good order
Keep more than one pair of shoes on the go at a time
Keep a record of your training and diet
Run with others as often as you can
Get support from your family, they will not see much of you for 3 months!
Check with your Doctor before you start the programme if you are either overweight or have been unwell
Bolt out of the door and sprint down the road
Wear old worn out shoes - this will cause injury!
Run only on roads, get on the grass when you can
Eat too much fatty food or drink a lot of alcohol
Train if you are ill or injured, it will make things a lot worse
Run straight after a meal - unless you enjoy indigestion!
Run if conditions are very dangerous ie ice or snow
It is vitally important that you protect yourself against the elements and when you run at night make sure you wear some reflective apparel to be visible to vehicles.
Here are some key points to remember:
- Be seen be safe - wear light coloured reflective clothing
- If it's wet, wear a lightweight shower-proof top over your training kit, several thin layers are better insulation than one thick one.
- Cover your extremities when its cold, wear gloves and a hat you lose more heat from hands and head than anywhere else.
- Make sure that your shoes are suitable, take specialist advice from a running store such as Run and Become or Sweat Shop to make sure that your footwear doesn't hinder your progress, Dunlop
tennis shoes will not get you round a marathon in any comfort, try to keep 2 pairs of shoes going at any time, then if one pair gets wet you have a dry option!
- Keep your kit clean and dry. Wearing damp kit is unpleasant for you and your running partners and can chaff your skin; runner's nipple is not pleasant!
- If training or racing away from home carry a spare set of clean dry kit (including shoes) and shower kit. There is nothing worse than driving home in damp grubby kit and it can cause a
- For race wear, never wear brand new gear, always wash it and wear it at least once before a serious outing.
- Always walk in a new pair of shoes for a week before running in them it helps avoid blisters and sore feet as brand new shoes are usually a lot stiffer than the ones they are replacing.
- Don't be tempted to buy high fashion gear from non-running sports shops, it is not designed for marathon running and will certainly be a lot more expensive.
- If companies sponsor you, put their names on your training top - they love to see their names in print.
- Slightly loose fitting gear is more practical for running, keep skin tight gear for the post race party !
STRETCHING AND MOBILITY
Stretching and mobility are keys to helping an athlete avoid injury and unnecessary pain.
A regular regime of stretching before and after running will help you to feel loose and relaxed whilst running and aid your body's recovery time.
Mobility will give you more range of movement, increase the flexibility of joints and muscles and enable you to develop a fluent and relaxed running style.
If they can be done as 30/45 second efforts with equal recovery three to four times a week after training they will help your body to become stronger and more flexible.
- Sit-ups - knees bent, feet flat on the floor, hands loosely across the chest
- Press-ups - try to keep your body straight and lock out elbows.(if you can't do a full press up keep your knees on the ground )
- Squats - feet together, pull up to between arms and kick out straight
- Star-jumps - arms and legs straight, lift arms as you jump and push legs out to the sides
- Step-ups - use a step or bench about 20cm's high
- Side-bends - stand upright, hand on side of your leg, keep back straight and stretch hand down leg, alternate sides
- Hopping - 10metres out/back then change leg
- Windmills - Assume position below, arms hanging loose, swing out to side and up as far as is comfortable and back
- Knee Jumps - Feet together, jump on spot, bringing knees up
- Back Stretch - Lie on the floor, push up as in a press up but keep hips on ground, lock elbows, hold for 10 seconds relax and repeat
- Leg Raises - Lie on back, hands at sides, legs straight, lift 15cms off ground hold for 10 seconds and relax, lower slowly and repeat x10
Always jog a little to warm up before starting these stretches. Hold each stretch for 15/20 seconds. Don't go past a point where it starts to feel painful. Never bounce stretches. Move slowly into
each stretch. Try to stretch before and after running sessions.
- Lower Back - Lie on back, knees to chest hold for 15 seconds release slowly and repeat 3 times
- Back/Glut's - Lie on back, pull knee across body and hold as shown, repeat 4 times each side
- Hamstrings - Lie on back, raise straight leg, pull slowly into stretch and hold, release slowly, repeat x4 each leg
- Calf/Hamstring - Sit with one leg outstretched and other foot against knee, put towel over foot and pull, hold and repeat on other leg.
- Calf - lean against wall, heels on ground, one leg forward and push hips towards the wall, repeat on other leg
- Calves - lean on back of a chair, both knees bent, one in front of other, heels on floor and push rear knee downwards
- Quads - Use wall to steady you, pull foot up to bottom and hold, change leg and repeat
- Hamstrings - Use steeplechase barrier or similar to try to keep leg straight, hold and repeat on other leg
- Abductors - Sit with heels together and push down on knees.
- Ilio tibial band - (band that runs down the outside of your leg from hip to knee) Bend leg over straight leg, use elbow, adjust raised knee and push slowly If you can make this routine a habit it
will really help your preparation and help avoid injuries !!