Over the past couple of weeks there has been a huge increase in the amount of people that I see running, no doubt because of the impending London Marathon. I am confident that a significant amount of these runners are worried about a lack of training and as such are looking to cram in as much running as possible. Here are a few more tips for the next couple of weeks training:
Quality NOT Quantity
The days of base training were back before Christmas, not a few weeks before the race. Sure, your long runs are very important but over training at this point will leave you in a bit of a pickle come race day. Rest is incredibly important to let your muscles repair themselves in preparation not only for more training but also to avoid injury so close to the marathon. I will leave it up to you to decipher this delicate balancing act between too much rest and too much training, but as a rule of thumb I would advise a maximum of 4 runs a week.
As per the last article on marathon training, running at race pace from now on is essential. Focus on quality instead of quantity.
The combination of a reasonably heavy training load, your job and a race date that is likely to be closer than you would want all add up to rising stress levels. Make sure you are getting enough sleep over the coming weeks. Sleep is not only a time for your muscles to relax and rid themselves of fatigue but also a great stress reducing method. High stress and a lack of stress is not a good recipe!
In a recent interview with Sport magazine, Welsh international rugby player Jamie Roberts talks about the importance of hydration – and he is a qualified doctor! Talk to any professional sportsman or woman and they will back up the importance of hydration. Many people simply consider hydration to be something that is important on the day of the event…not so. You under perform both mentally and physically with even a small amount of dehydration. This takes us back to the previous point about quality over quantity. How can you expect to put in the very best training sessions if you are not fully hydrated?
Through personal experience I have found that good hydration not only helps with quality training sessions but also in recovery. So keep drinking water throughout the day. It is all too easy to neglect this when sitting a desk for hours on end so keep a water bottle or glass on your desk so that you have a constant reminder.
There is now under a month to go before the big day so stay hydrated, train hard and sleep more.