Set your sights on running the Auckland Marathon this year? If so, chances are you’ve already started your training programme.
Optimal race prep ensures you’re race fit, injury free and that you stay that way leading up to, during and after the event.
Here’s a few tips from the TCCP team to help you on your way.
Get the basics right:
- Start from a strong base
A marathon is not something most of us can do on a whim. You should have a good base fitness and cut your teeth on a few other half marathon events first.
- Top technique
There’s alot to achieving a correct run technique, make sure yours is up to scratch by consulting a specialised trainer or coach
- Keep it loose
Clocking up all those miles is going to result in some serious muscle tightness and fatigue. At TCCP we can help keep it all in balance by providing a tailored stretch programme and treatments aimed to maximize recovery and prevent injury.
- Get the support you need
Any previous injuries or niggles should be addressed. This might come in the form of taping, strapping or supports, or looking at any muscles imbalances – our areas of expertise.
- Consider cross-training
While the focus is on running (of course!), incorporating cross training into your schedule will give the body a rest from repetitive loading and stressing of the same joints, muscles and ligaments, minimising injury risk and overuse problems.
- Get the right gear
Everyone has different biomechanics and running patterns. Make sure your running shoes correct any issues particular to you, to help avoid injury.
- Keep your motivation high
Set goals, train with a team or race buddy to keep you on track.
- Nut out your nutrition
Nutrition plays a huge role, not only in keeping you fueled, but also in injury prevention. Correct hydration and replacing key elements lost through sweat and energy exerted are critical.
- Know your race
Heading into the day well-versed in the course – start and finish lines, drink and toilet stops – will reduce anxiety and stress which may otherwise manifest in muscle tension or tightness.
You’ve spent so much time focusing on getting ready for the marathon, you might not have even given your recovery a second thought!
However, post-event your body will need some definite TLC:
- It will probably be the last thing you feel like doing, but once you’ve crossed that finish line, try to keep moving, however slowly. This helps to cool the muscles down, disperse lactic acid and gently let body systems return to more regular function.
- Ice any obviously sore or injured areas.
- Replenish your stores with a well-balanced carb/protein snack.
- A post event massage is great for helping remove lactic acid and reducing muscle tension as well as improving circulation and blood flow.
- You’ll likely experience the onset of DOMS following the event, peaking 48-72 hours after completion. Gentle movement, walking and massage can help.
- In the days/weeks following the event, stretching, soft tissue work and specific injury rehabilitation are crucial to help recovery and allow you to return to exercise injury-free.
- Allow time for recovery – by undertaking a marathon your body has undergone an enormous challenge. Fatigue is expected and immunity post event might also be lower than usual. Most experts recommend two weeks recovery, during which time gentle activity is good but nothing too strenuous.
Want more guidance in staying injury-free during your marathon training, recovery and on the actual event day? Come and see TCCP for expert, personalised guidance.