So Christmas is over and you ate too much, drunk too much, and now feeling vaguely motivated to do something about it before the Christmas over- indulgence flab becomes a permanent feature. Your New Year resolution is to start running, because that is a quick way to lose weight…
….Or – you don’t fall into that category and you have started your marathon training and just wondering how you will ever get there – without an injury!
The Golden Rule for both groups is avoid ‘too much too soon’ and don’t be tempted to say-“ I feel great, I’ll do a bit more…” . There are numerous Marathon Plans and advice on the internet (marathon-rookie.com is a good one) but many plans build up too quickly and don’t take some of the basics into consideration: (check with your GP if you are particularly unfit or have medical issues)
· Invest in good running shoes –you may need another pair already if you have exceeded 400m in your marathon training. Get specialist advice so the shoe fits your foot-type and running style.
· You are what you eat…and drink - to become a good running machine you need the right fuel – 60% complex carbs, 10% protein and 25% unsaturated fats is a good start and drink enough that your urine is pale yellow – too much caffeine will make this more of a challenge!
· Plan rest days –almost every other day (if later, you begin to feel sore, ice, rest and consider a sports massage, osteopathy or physiotherapy)
· Only now should you be starting to run –and as a beginner start with 20 mins walking, 4 times a week on week 1, building up to 35 mins walk/run at week 6. Start ‘running only’ at week 7 for 20 mins each session and by week 10 you can be running 35-40 mins. If training for a marathon, you need to build slowly up to 20 miles until 3 weeks before your event, then taper it down. Consider the surface you are running on – tarmac only will give more impact and increase the chance of shin-splints but uneven ground off-road can also challenge joints and muscles. Treadmills are useful but are usually easier.
· Stretching – Why would you nurture your muscles, then starve them of nutrients? Stretching enhances muscle pliability, allowing good blood flow (bringing nutrients into muscle fibres and removing toxic waste products). Pliable muscles act as effective shock-absorbers reducing injury and more joint freedom results which can enhance your running style. Each muscle needs at least 20 seconds of stretch post exercise, ensuring it is being done correctly as different postures can alter the target muscles.
· And if you become injured… Take it seriously, ice, rest and get professional help early from a Osteopath, Physiotherapist, Chiropractor or experienced Sports Massage Therapist as the longer you leave it, the harder it is to treat and the less likely you are to achieve your goal.
For more information go to www.aboutbacksandbones.com