Wear your tried and trusted gear - not something new. (Source: File Photo)
In recent years, there has been a surge in the popularity of marathon and more and more people are coming forward to embrace long-distance running. In the past few years, the number of women participating in marathons is also said to have risen. If you are prepping up for a marathon, keep in mind these tips, suggests Rajat Khurana, managing director, ASICS India.
"When you are a beginner, it all starts with pre-conditioning, the first phase in your running schedule. This will prepare you for the heavier training as you prepare your body to be fitter. The aim is to start slowly and build up. It gets your muscles ready for longer distances and can help you avoid injury later," explained Khurana.
Count on these tips
Mornings are the best time for a quick run. Listen to your body and give yourself ample time to warm up and get comfortable.
Eat no later than an hour before the start
You can't run without fuel but eating too close to starting time will only cause cramps.
Have a hydration plan for long-distance races
Once you are used to running shorter distances, it is time to gear up for distances of 10 km or more. It is important to stay hydrated as you run. Decide if you prefer to run with a bottle or take drinks at intervals at the water stations ahead of time and incorporate that method into your training so that you’re ready for race day.
Decide your running strategy
While it cannot be gauged how a run will play out, it doesn't mean you don't need a plan. If you’re a beginner, try pacing yourself at the start -- passing those over-enthusiastic people in the second half will make you feel much better!
Dress for the climate
Check out the weather forecast for the day and dress appropriately. Wear your tried and trusted gear - not something new.
The right pair of shoes
Of course, if you’re getting started in the winter months, you’ll also need to think carefully about what to wear. Choose the shoes that give you maximum support and protection for a comfortable run even over long distances.
Find energy in the pack
Pair up with someone if that helps you improve your running game. When you're feeling tired, the energy of your partner may rub on you to keep you going. Another useful tactic is to pick out someone not too far ahead of you and try to catch them.
Divide the course
In a longer race, it can be useful to mentally divide the course in manageable sections. This also works by running to points within view like lamp posts or street corners.
Try to do a mental check-over every now and then during the race. Try to relax your hands and shoulders and your breathing.
No matter if it is race 1 or 101, remember to enjoy the experience. If you’re disappointed by your performance, allow yourself to be annoyed about it for a while but then log it in your training plan and move on. Reading the log later might help you avoid a similar experience. But keep in mind that everyone has bad days, and the memory will fade quickly when you have another good run!