marathon & half marathon book

Download marathon & half marathon book

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training guide on how to run a marathon and half marathon

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  • If youre reading this then what a terrific result! Congratulations. You are in the 2010 Virgin London Marathon and along with 36,000 other runners youre going to be pounding the streets of the nations capital on April 25th 2010. If youre sat quivering at the thought of what the next few months holds in terms of training and preparation, dont panic. The key with a successful marathon finish, whether your goal is a walk:jog completion or a fast run finish, lies with effective and appropriate preparation. Dont put off until tomorrow what you can start today!

    A marathon isnt something you can simply turn up on the day and complete without a consid-ered approach to your training programme and your race strategy on the day (yes, you do need a strategy thats not being flash or fast its being sensible and committed). This may be your first marathon and youre a Virgin London Mara-thon virgin or perhaps youre an experienced campaigner with several marathon finishes under your belt. Either way your path to race day starts months before the actual race itself. To arrive at the start line on April 25th ready and raring to go, think of the next few months as a journey to the finish line that starts today. Whether this is your first time or youre seeking a fast time, what you do, or dont do, between now and race day makes a real difference to achieving your perfect marathon.

    Make your marathon a success!

    Golden rules for a better marathon!

    Get going! Dont procrastinate and put if off! Dont keep saying, Ill start my marathon training next week. Next week will keep coming around and before you know it race

    day will be upon you. Start your marathon training today! That doesnt mean you have to go out and run until you drop at your first attempt. Whether you are a marathon virgin or a marathon master, be patient as you start and give yourself plenty of preparation time before the race.

    Tip: Establish a routine for running.

    Gently does it: Being the proverbial bull in the running china shop for the first two weeks isnt the best way to begin your training build up. Start your running programme early. Around 16 weeks before the Virgin London Marathon or 1st January is a great time! Be gentle and progressive. Build the frequency (how often), intensity (how hard) and dura-tion (how long) of your running as the weeks progress. Think of your training like building a house. Strong foundations laid at the start then built on over time bring about better results in the long run. A strong base means you can develop and increase your training and your marathon world wont come crashing down around your ears with a month to go.

    Getting ready for your big day in April means more than starting with the schedules themselves. Before you do anything rash and head out of the door for your first run go and get a medical once over from your GP and get the go ahead to start your build up. This is especially important if youre a smoker, ex smoker, hypertensive, or have a history of cardio-vascular disease in your family. Give yourself a great lead in to your marathon preparations by spending 4 to 6 weeks (before you even begin your mara-thon training schedule) developing a robust, healthy and motivated body and mind. Dont leap straight into a rigorous routine.

    Instead, take your time, walk, learn how to exercise and how it feels and find your feet a little. Once youve got going, use the schedules to keep going!

    Tip: Run clever. Listen to your body. More isnt better.

    Get the right kit: Specialist running shoes are a must for better training and injury preven-tion. Your shoes are the tools of your job for running training so get the right ones for you. Its a good idea to have two pairs on the go at the same time and alternate their usage. What you wear is as important as what is on your feet. You dont need to look like a bright, too tight, lycra-clad racing snake to feel good as a runner. Layer up with comfortable, breathable materials to combat the best of British weather as you prepare over the winter months. Choose garments that keep you warm, cool you down, fit you perfectly, function and perform well and that you feel confident and comfortable in.

    Tip: Visit a specialist running retailer for a shoe fitting and advice on clothing and gear.

    Plan. Know what you are going to do and when. Your training plan should be appropriate to your ability level and needs. It should be progressive, structured and motivating. Youll need to be disciplined with your time for running. When can you fit in your runs during a typical week? When is the best time of day to run? Before work? Lunchtime? After work? When can you run longer? When do you clear family, work or other time?

    Tip: Dont let your excitement and marathon enthusiasm allow you to over commit to an unrealistic schedule. Better to build up slowly than burn out later. >>

    The Journey begins here

    By Liz Yelling, Commonwealth Games Bronze medallist, Athens and Beijing Olympian.

    50 Marathon news www.london-marathon.co.uk++++++++++14thMarch2010adidashalfMarathonatSilverStone++++++++++14thMarch2010adidashal

    www.london-marathon.co.uk Marathon news 51fMarathonatSilverStone++++++++++14thMarch2010adidashalfMarathonatSilverStone+++++++++++

  • Your training: the fundamentalsCompleting a marathon cant be that hard, can it? Its all about turning up on the start line having covered the odd mile or two in the final couple of weeks and giving it a good go on the day. Wrong! Thats one approach that is almost certainly doomed and will see you have a very tough day in the marathon office! If youre able to crack one thing over the next few months, it should be to develop consistency in your run-ning training. Isolated, occasional, half-hearted running wont help you much in your quest for marathon glory. Whatever your goal, regular, appropriate, purposeful, planned and consistent running improves fitness levels and makes you a stronger, better runner. What actually makes up this training will vary depending on your mara-thon aspirations, your genes, your current fitness levels, your running ability and experience, your motivation and the time you have available to commit to your marathon miles. Regular easy and steady running develops a sound and strong aerobic foundation. This is called base building and is essential for marathon running success.

    A good aerobic foundation is the mainstay of a strong marathon and its developed through progressive, consistent running over a prolonged period. Gains in fitness dont happen overnight and there is no magic pill or quick fix to a marathon finish. You have to put in the graft and cover the miles. Starting your programme by heading out for a few walk/jogs or easy pace runs each week and building up the time you are able to run non-stop is great aerobic base building for

    a new runner. For the more experienced runner, a base period of four weeks of steady running helps you begin your marathon journey in a strong and robust way.

    Although it might seem tough at first, after a few weeks of progressive, planned and appropriately structured training, youll start to see the first signs of changes in your fitness levels. Suddenly you will notice that you are no longer puffing and out of breath as soon as you are at the end of the road; you seem to be breathing more easily and with more control throughout your run, your legs no longer ache during or after your runs, rather you feel bouncy, lighter and quickly recover. These are the first signs that your body is adapting to the regular running you have been doing your training is working! Your training goal is simple. To arrive at the start line on April 25th having given yourself the best possible chance of attaining your marathon goal. These goals will be different for each you but the commitment and effort required to achieve them will be common to everyone who crosses the finish line.

    Top training tips

    Get a group or running buddy! Running with others can give you the kick-start youll sometimes need to swap the sofa for the tarmac.

    Spice it up. Doing the same type of running all the time can make your training routine boring and stagnant and see you plateau

    rather than progress. Include different types of running in your week (see Training talk)

    Ease the pressure - beat the stress. It can be a great stress reliever not to clock watch. Once in a while just get out and run. Leave your watch, heart rate monitor, GPS and other toys at home.

    In it for the long run! Dont neglect the miles in the bank. Long runs matter for marathon success. They dont have to be fast, but they do have to be done! Long runs are your money miles when it comes to marathon training.

    Rest! It shouldnt be all hard work. As a rule of thumb, for every hard day take at least one easy. Balance your training with your lifestyle so you enjoy your running training and are excited by your running. Push too hard, too often, regardless of ability, and you could jeopardise making the start line let alone the finish line.

    Pace practice: Even if your goal is completion, you should know your target pace to the second per mile. Its inexcusable not to know this and failure to do so could jeopardise your finish. Practice running sections of your runs at this pace in training. If your finish goal is a walk/run one then you should know your pacing strategy. What will your walk/run sections look like? For example, 9 min run 1 min walk continuous for the first half of the race and then 8 min run 2 min walk for the second? Run 10k walk 5 min x 4? Run the first half non-stop, walk/run the second half as 5 min jog 1

    min walk? Whatever your strategy its vital to practise it in training and expect it to change as your fitness improves.

    Train the same stay t

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