Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Top 10 Marathon Tips

I recently took a peek at a marathon training website that gave the following Top 10 marathon tips.

1. Keep hydrated:

2. Check your shoes:

3. Eat your big pasta meal two days before the race:

4. Relax the day before:

5. Pace yourself correctly:

6. If the weather is bad – adjust your finish time:

7. Be careful with power gels and energy replacement products:

8. Mentally divide the race into sections:

9. Try walking:

10. Walk around after the marathon:

Here are 10 that I came up with:

1. Taper. I like to cut mileage but maintain or even increase intensity in the week prior to a marathon. Short but quick runs or mini-interval sessions work best. This will maintain blood volume without muscle breakdown

2. Run something very hard or very long 3 weeks before your race. This is a very effective strategy. Three weeks is ample time to recover and come back even stronger. I recommend a half marathon race or your longest run here. You'll be amazed!

3. Avoid the temptation to run long the week before the marathon. It won't do anything to help you and will likely hurt you.

4. Acclimatize. Recall recent years when Chicago and Boston were run in unseasonably warm tempertatures and thousands were caught unprepared. If there is a chance temperatures will be warmer than you are training in, put on some extra layers- enough to make you sweat. Acclimatization takes 7-10 days.

5. Dress appropriately for the weather. What you wear on race day is a crucial decision. Typically temperatures are cooler at the start, than proceed to increase as the race progresses. Four hour marathoners could be looking a significant difference in temperatures from start to finish. You can also underdress and run the risk of hypothermia if temperatures stay cool, the wind picks up, or it rains.

6. Calories. Consuming calories is extremely important during a run exceeding 90 minutes. The average marathoner should target 200 calories per hour.

7. Hydration. Drinking is important to keep up with your losses during a marathon, however, during the week prior it makes little sense to hydrate, urinate, hydrate, urinate, hyrdate, and urinate. It's not like your body has the ability to store excess water a week in advance. Drink an adequate amount of fluid the day before and the morning of your event, but make sure you stop drinking about 2 hours before your start time or you'll looking for some privacy during the race.

8. Run even pace. Good advice here. Your goal should be to run the second half of the marathon within a couple of minutes of the first half.

9. Run the shortest distance. Cut the corners and turns as closely as possible. You might be able to save up to a minute on some marathon courses.

10. Run behind somebody into the wind. This can be a huge energy saver on a windy day.

Bonus: TAKE PRECUATIONS NOT TO GET SICK! Prior to and during the Tour de France, cyclists go to extremes to minimize risk of catching colds or flu. Don't touch door knobs, handrails, and other commonly touched objects without washing hands after. Avoid contact with people who are sick. I like to make sure I get my Lifepak Nano 2 x a day.

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