Have you ever signed up for a run and attempted to finish it without giving it a second thought? Whether your race is 5km or 25km, here are some running basics you need to know next time you decide to run a marathon.
1. Do you have a history of medical conditions?
If you have any history of medical issues, you should always check with a medical doctor before signing up for the marathon. Risk factors relating to the heart, especially diabetes and blood pressure should be checked with a doctor even if there are no current symptoms.
2. Have you sustained any prior injuries?
If you have a prior injury such as a sprained ankle or muscle pull, you need to consider whether you have given your body enough time and rest to recover. For more serious injuries such as fractures, it is advisable to consult a doctor on whether you are ready to start training again.
To prevent injuries and stay healthy while marathon training, start slowly with short distances and incorporate rest periods between training days. Also, always remember to do warm-ups and stretching before starting a run.
3. What is your fitness level?
Be realistic about your current fitness levels. If you are a recreational runner, do not attempt the training regimen of a pro runner. Instead, gradually build yourself to that level, which will allow you to perform better.
You need to come up with a training plan in advance. The key to successful marathon training is consistently putting in enough weekly mileage to get your body accustomed to running for long periods of time.
4. Do you need prior training for the marathon?
Regular exercise is recommended to minimise the risk of any muscle injury or health issues such as sudden cardiac arrest during the marathon. For long-distance marathons, pace training is less important than clocking in the miles so worry less about your finishing time and pay more attention to covering the distance.
Completing your training plan should ensure you feel prepared for the actual day to meet your goal.
5. Do you have the right gear?
Of course, having the right shoes is absolutely crucial. Protect your feet and knees with a pair of well-cushioned running shoes that feel comfortable and fit perfectly. Also, make sure to wear fabrics that will move moisture away from your skin to the outer surface, where it will evaporate, keeping you dry and comfortable. If there is a chance of light rain, you may want to consider wearing a light parka with a hood to protect yourself.
Make sure your running kit includes a water bottle to keep you hydrated. Lastly, apply sunblock with SPF 50 and above to protect your skin from the sun and harsh UV rays.