Marathon Runners Quick Reference Check List
WARMING-UP : Before you do any training whether it is cross-training, strength-training, or running, a proper warming-up is needed. While training for running a full marathon our body is under physical strain from all those other training runs, so muscles are fatigued, which could much easier lead to injuries than when we are properly rested. Warming up slowly allows greater movement of the muscles and thus reducing risk of injuries. Warm up every time until breaking a light sweat before doing stretches. Marathon training warm up
STRETCHING : Have a stretching routine before training and after training. Before training (after warming-up) a stretching routine would increase flexibility and range of motion so that all necessary movements can be performed smoothly. Stretching before the main workout should be short, keeping a relaxed stretch position for no longer than ten seconds. (avoid bouncing!)
A stretching routine after your main workout should be performed without exception (well, unless you've been overrun by a car). This is to remove build-up lactic acid from the muscles, increase the length of muscles which became stiff, re-align the muscles. There are two types, static stretching and dynamic stretching, read the benefits and make a healthy choice in order to continue your marathon training for a long time.
COOLDOWN : Before and after stretching you should do some easy exercise (jogging) to remove build-up lactic acid and steadily reduce heart and breath rate. Marathon training builds up lactic acid every time which should be brought down in order to properly facilitate the recovery process. Read more about a good cooldown.
RECOVERY DRINK : After an intense long run or speed-work, a high carbohydrate drink should be consumed within the first 20 minutes after the main workout. Solid food is also perfectly fine but some athletes find this a challenge. Chocolate milk provides a great balance of protein and carbohydrates and is enjoyed by many runners. Marathon training requires a high consumtion of carbohydrates, followed by water (fluids) and protein, in order to sufficiently recover in time for the next run. Delicious recovery drinks.
NUTRITIONAL BALANCE : For most long distance runners intake of carbohydrates should be the highest at about 60% of total caloric intake. Protein intake should be between 15 to 20% and fat consumption about 20 to 25%. Do not forget to consume your vitamins and minerals and especially vitamin B and C. Iron intake is also crucial. Charge your body with a nutritional balance.
TRAINING SCHEDULE : In order to prepare for running a full marathon we need to hit the road several times a week and do a variety of runs. Runs include ; interval training, tempo runs, recovery runs, and long runs. Remember that you should increase distance and speed with small increments onlyto prevent injuries.
MOTIVATION : During a marathon training which could take anywhere between 12 to 20 weeks there are days when it is just very difficult to put on your running shoes. But it could be an important link in your training schedule thus a bit of motivation needs to be pulled out from somewhere. It might be good to write down a list of things which motivate you to train for a marathon. Make it as positive as you can. Or have someone who knows very well what you are doing and understands your situation who could give you some encouragement on tough days. Join a running group or a buddy to meet for training runs. Running with others is often a good reason not to let them down.