Published On: Thu, Jan 16th, 2020

Maintaining Health during Marathon Training

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This article on marathon training and injury prevention is the second in a three part series. For the first two tips in this series, read more about the importance of rest and flexibility in part one.

Pick an Appropriate Training Plan

Though some longtime runners will have already built up a sturdy “base” of cardiovascular fitness and strength in all the right muscle groups, others with marathon dreams may approach the sport from humbler beginnings. The growing number of support groups, such as Team in Training and FIRST Marathon, whose aim is to see runners through a first marathon implies there are more first-timers pinning on a race number than ever before.

Generally, runners should plan to spend about 16 to 18 weeks training for their marathon. “Four months of buildup, for just one race? Surely that’s not really necessary,” some may think. But beware. The strain which running 26.2 miles (42.195 km) inflicts on the body (e.g. pounding upon joints and creating microtears in muscle fibers) is no small matter, and this formidable goal must be approached circumspectly, with reverence.

One mistake common among neophyte runners is overtraining. Ignorant of how to effectively condition their bodies over time, novice runners go gung-ho and commit the classic but regrettable error of doing too much too soon. Often they wind up aching and disillusioned, with shin splints or a stress fracture, and unfortunately – deciding they’re not cut out for the sport – hang up their running shoes before even putting in enough time to wear out the midsoles.

Though training for 26.2 is nothing to take lightly, neither is it impossible. And it also does not signify that the only way to succeed is by pounding the pavement during every spare minute for the next four months in building up toward the race. The Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training (the FIRST in FIRST Marathon, referred to above) in Greenville, South Carolina, has developed a selection of training programs centered on the assertion that runners can achieve their marathon goals by committing to three quality runs per week.

In the August 2005 issue, Runners World Magazine elaborated on FIRST’s research, calling it the “Run Less, Run Faster” approach. In addition to intelligent cross training, they say, given three quality runs a week for eighteen weeks, runners can sufficiently prepare for the demands of the marathon. And not only that, but this “less really is more” philosophy, balanced by other exercises such as swimming, cycling, or rowing, also helps stave off injuries attributable to overuse.

Maintaining Health during Marathon Training

Two well-known masters of the scientific art of marathoning, Hal Higdon and Jeff Galloway, prescribe a “stepback” approach to long run mileage, which indicates a reduction in distance every two to three weeks in order to let the body recover and prepare for the next hard push. With more than one hundred years of running experience and over 230 marathons between them, both Higdon and Galloway have earned the respect and trust of hundreds of thousands of grateful, successful marathon finishers.

One way to ensure having enough time to adequately train for a marathon is to check the internet for a calendar of national (or, for a real adventure, international) marathons being held over the next twelve months, and choose an appropriately scheduled target race.

Fuel Up With Proper Nutrition

Besides keeping the immune system robust and ensuring the digestive system functions steadily, the consumption of nutritious foods such as whole grains, beans, and colorful vegetables is one of the premier ways to promote cell recovery during a season of intense training.

There is now a profusion of published research manifesting the vital importance of antioxidants (to fight cancer-causing free radicals), unsaturated fats (to promote cerebral function), and amino acids (the components from which protein is built) – to say nothing of the 23 primary (though there are others as well) vitamins and minerals which maintain overall health and internal balance. And because a marathoner’s immune system bears a heavier load than average, long-distance runners must be even more vigilant in taking requisite measures (such as eating healthfully) to prevent falling victim to illness or injury.

Most everyone knows that eating healthy “whole foods” is important, but – often from lack of practice – not everyone feels comfortable incorporating them into their daily lifestyle. The key is to make small, manageable adjustments to one’s shopping and eating habits – changes which can be maintained over the long run.

About the Author

- I am an internet marketing expert with an experience of 8 years.My hobbies are SEO,Content services and reading ebooks.I am founder of SRJ News andTech Preview.

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