Archive for the Marathon training Category
How to prevent and ease pain whilst running
If you suffer foot cramps, sudden jolts and pain whilst running then there are things you can do to try to reduce this. For instance you can wear orthotic insoles and improve your running technique. By just doing these two things you can vastly reduce the discomfort and pain while you run. So how do you improve your running technique and how can orthotic insoles help?
Let me first tell you about how improving your running technique will help. If you have a bad running technique then this can cause unnecessary force and jolts when your feet hit the ground, not only that, if when you run the impacts of hitting the ground with your feet becomes too powerful then this can affect your run. There are a few ways you can improve your run and stop this from happening; try to run softer and be lighter on your feet whilst running.
Here are a few things that will help you run better and improve your technique to reduce unnecessary strain, discomfort and more importantly injury.
Good posture is key to running as slouching or having a hunched back can cause back pain and may even cause strain on the leg muscles. Standing upright and straight will help you breathe more openly and freely meaning more oxygen will be able to be delivered to your cells and reduce the build-up of lactic acid. Good posture includes keeping your head up looking forward at all times as looking down will cause strain on your neck muscles.
A trick many people use to improve posture is imaging that a string is tied on the top of their head and they are being pulled upwards kind of like a puppet.
When your feet hit the ground
Many pro runners will land on their forefoot instead of their heel when running; this is because landing on the forefoot there is a less likely chance of injury and not only that it helps improve speed while running. Some people naturally run like this whereas other will run on their heel, if you run on your heel it is best to slowly start running on the forefoot as quickly changing running style can cause injury. Running shoes are available to help people slowly change running styles from heel to forefoot.
Over striding is where your foot lands in front of the knee and this isn’t very good for your joints! It is not good because when your feet lands in front of the knee then it is out of your centre of gravity and this can cause injury, a better way of running would be to instead run so that the foot lands under the knee instead. Something that I mentioned above is too run light on your feet, do not hit the ground with force and the aim is to make your feet spend as little as possible time on the ground as you can.
How your arms move is just as important as how your legs move. It helps improve not only speed but balance and rhythm as well.
You must relax your shoulders as best you can as tension can cause pain and discomfort in the shoulders while running plus it can limit the movement in the arms. You elbow should be bent at around a 90 degree angle just like all the pro runners. Another thing to keep in mind is that you should move your arm with the shoulders and not your forearms.
Breathing is very important whilst you run as being out of breathe while running won’t get you very far. Breathing more effectively can help you run faster and for longer. Breathing will also reduce the amount of lactic acid in your body when you cells become starved of oxygen. To improve your breathing remember to inhale via your nose and exhale from your mouth. Breathe with the diaphragm and always breathe deeply and openly.
Wearing orthotic insoles
Even the pro runners wear running orthotics when they run (and when they are not running). Running insoles will help to cushion your feet, reduce unnecessary shocks that can cause weakening in your tissues and even cause arthritis overtime. By spreading pressure that could build up so that it is evenly spread throughout the foot and heel it means that this build-up of pressure cannot cause damage, discomfort or pain.
Insoles also help to reduce the risk of getting such problems as plantar fasciitis as your plantar fascia will be better supported. Because the insoles help to reduce sudden jolts in your legs because they act as a shock absorber it reduces strain and fatigue that can occur in your joint meaning you can run faster for longer.
Here are some really great and hopefully helpful running tips for you to try out for yourself.
Good form is the most important thing when running; even if you aren’t trying to run faster having good running form is needed to prevent injury. For good running form you need to have tall posture as though a string is pulling the top of your head upwards but keeping your upper-body relaxed too whilst you run. Good form means the middle of your foot when striking the ground be positioned just under your hips making sure that your arms don’t swing side to side but back and forth as you run.. This is how your running form should be! If you are not used to running like this it may feel unnatural to begin with but your body will soon get used to it and you will be running in good form in no time and much faster too!
Time yourself and make sure you keep count of how many strides you take when you run. A study has shown that the best runners who run the most efficiently and quickest are those who take 180 strides a minute. The trick is not to take long strides and to keep your feet close to the ground as you run. Quick and simple steps!
High intensity cardio is important and won’t take up a lot of your time. High intensity exercises like cycling as fast as you can for a minute or so is a really effective way to build strength and get the heart beating fast. High intensity exercises are done by all the major runners to improve their speed.
Treadmills help you to slowly build your speed from a steady walking pace to a full on sprint, treadmills are a great piece of equipment for runners letting the runner be in charge by setting the pace and even the incline.
Mix up your pace. Sprint for one minute jog the next then when you get used to jogging quickly sprint again and try to catch your body off guard. Changing pace like this is known as “fartleks” (Swedish) and helps to build endurance and stamina and a great cardio workout that keeps your body guessing!
Lightweight running shoes and insoles, now you can super lightweight running footwear that helps by reducing weight from the foot when you run but will still give you that arch support and shock absorption whilst you run!
Breathe faster and more effectively! Breathing is important it give oxygen to your cells helping them to create energy and prevent the build-up of painful lactic acid.
Extra resistance to build up running strength. To build up the muscles used to run you need to push them with added resistance; there are a number of ways to do this for example running with a weighted backpack or even you can buy running parachutes that have been made to create wind resistance behind you making running a lot harder but will build up your strength in your muscles so when you run without the extra resistance it will be easier and you will be much faster. Hill running also builds strength in your running muscles as the steep incline creates a type of resistance that must be overcome.
Core muscle workouts can be a great way to run faster; use sit-ups and press ups which develop the core muscles. Core muscle workouts should be done each day but don’t take up that much time 10 minutes at most!
If you want to become a good runner then we recommend a good night sleep and rest. If you over work your muscles then they may become exhausted and your body needs time to recover and repair itself that is why rest is important!
Yoga does a lot of things (like helping you grow taller) among those things that yoga will help with is to increase flexibility loosening the joints will help you feel more relaxed and because yoga helps with posture too you will have better form whilst running.
In part 1 of this series we discussed preparing for the gruelling task of marathon training. Now you are prepared and ready it is time to start. In 16 weeks you should be able to run a marathon but be warned this is not going to be easy.
Ideal starting fitness
The ideal minimum fitness you need to start marathon training is that you should be able to run at least 30 minutes without taking time to stop. It doesn’t matter how far you can go so long as you can keep your body running and get used to the feeling.
If you cannot run yet for 30 minutes straight you soon will be able to as this level of fitness can be easily attained. Try going on long walks interspaced with jogging. They help to ease your body into exercise and minimize risk of injury.
Training for the marathon
The aim of marathon training is now to gradually increase your mileage over the weeks until you hit a total distance in your run of 18-21 miles. Then taper down 2 weeks before the marathon in order to allow your body to recover its strength so you will be fresh for the actual marathon event.
Wk Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 3 Miles Rest Day 4 Miles 4 Miles Rest Day 5 Miles Rest Day
2 3 Miles Rest Day 4 Miles 4 Miles Rest Day 6 Miles Rest Day
3 3 Miles Rest Day 4 Miles 4 Miles Rest Day 7 Miles Rest Day
4 3 Miles Rest Day 5 Miles 5 Miles Rest Day 8 Miles Rest Day
5 3 Miles Rest Day 5 Miles 5 Miles Rest Day 10 Miles Rest Day
6 3 Miles Rest Day 5 Miles 5 Miles Rest Day 12 Miles Rest Day
7 4 Miles Rest Day 6 Miles 6 Miles Rest Day 14 Miles Rest Day
8 4 Miles Rest Day 6 Miles 6 Miles Rest Day 15 Miles Rest Day
9 4 Miles Rest Day 6 Miles 6 Miles Rest Day 16 Miles Rest Day
10 4 Miles Rest Day 7 Miles 7 Miles Rest Day 18 Miles Rest Day
11 5 Miles Rest Day 7 Miles 7 Miles Rest Day 19 Miles Rest Day
12 5 Miles Rest Day 7 Miles 7 Miles Rest Day 20 Miles Rest Day
13 5 Miles Rest Day 8 Miles 8 Miles Rest Day 21 Miles Rest Day
14 5 Miles Rest Day 8 Miles 8 Miles Rest Day 10 Miles Rest Day
15 3 Miles Rest Day 4 Miles 4 Miles Rest Day 8 Miles Rest Day
16 3 Miles Rest Day 3 Miles Walk Rest Day 26.2 Miles Rest Day
Remember at the start of the marathon you will receive a huge amount of adrenaline which will give you a lot of energy but don’t make the mistake of starting too quickly. You don’t want to wipe yourself out at the start. A marathon is an endurance event, keep a steady pace and then towards the end speed up for a champions finish.
This concludes part 2 of this series, in part 3 we will examine further common problems encountered in the race and important tips for racing a marathon in a competitive time.
Marathon training is all about building physical as well as mental stamina. In this article we will deal with both aspects of marathon training.
Mental stamina accumulates overtime; it is your ‘force’ or ‘will power’. It is the ability to override your senses and push on beyond what you think is possible. Mental stamina is the psychological component of marathon training. Before you decide to train for a marathon you need to examine your motivation for running a marathon as it is this motivation that you will use to drive you on to complete one of the most gruelling and punishing athletic events a human can do.
You absolutely must be highly motivated to race a marathon. You cannot approach it meekly, you cannot accept defeat, your motivation has to be overriding.
So why do you want to run a marathon? Do you want to get fit? Is it for the sense of achievement (less than 1% of the world’s population have completed a marathon)? Do you want to impress your friends? Is it something on a to do list? Running for charity? We must reiterate that whatever your reason is for running a marathon it must be highly compelling. Most people who train for a marathon quit before the race, a lot cannot finish the race. Many that do finish the race do not achieve a respectable finishing time.
So you think you are mentally prepared for the challenges ahead? That is good. Now we must complete our other preparation work.
Buy a good pair of running trainers. Finally remove the insoles and buy specially designed running insoles. Running insoles are designed to fit your feet matching and supporting the arch and help to correct posture and optimise performance. They also help you to avoid injury.
Running is a great activity for burning calories. You will find that your body literally burns through everything that you give it, fat will melt away from your body and you will lose weight. It is recommended that you eat a high calorie diet, high in carbs with adequate amounts of protein and fat. Carbohydrates will be the fuel for your training and your eventual marathon. The great thing with a running regime is you can end up eating more than you were before and still lose weight. So if your goal is to lose weight marathon training will help you get there.
If you are running for an hour or more it is important to always carry fluids with you. Generally you will be drinking around 6-8 oz every 20 minutes or so. Vary the amounts based upon how you feel.
Rehydration is an important aspect of running, after a long run you will have shed a lot of water weight. It is recommended that you weigh yourself before and after a run and then aim to rehydrate back to the before weight.
Conclusion and to part 2
Thank you for reading part 1. Part 1 has dealt with preparation; part 2 will deal with the training aspects of running for a marathon. If you are looking to purchase running insoles for this activity we recommend you have a look at our range of sports insoles. Nuova Health stock the finest quality orthotics aimed at optimising running performance.