The team behind the Gold Coast Airport Marathon share their tips and tricks for conquering the race.
Step 1: Fit out your feet
When it comes to running a marathon your feet are among your greatest assets.
- A shoe that fits snuggly around your rear foot to prevent the heel from slipping in and out of the shoe with each stride, reducing the likelihood of blisters;
- More support if you have a flat foot or a foot that rolls in during running;
- A shoe with the correct amount of cushioning as too much cushioning can be as damaging as too little.
Step 2: Learn how to warm up and warm down
Learning the correct way to bookend training sessions is just as important as the training itself. A proper warm up will maximise your performance and enhance your recovery following injury.
A warm up should:
- Begin with five to10 minutes of cardiovascular activity toraise your core body temperature and increase your heart rate;
- Include activities such as leg and arm swings, sideways and backwards running, skipping, body weight squats, lunge walks and calf walks to limber up and reduce stiffness.
A proper cool down will:
- Promote the removal of metabolites produced during exercise and reduce muscle soreness;
- Comprise of five to 10 minutes of walking or jogging to bring your heart rate backdown.
Step 3: Keep up the fluids
Correct fluid intake during and after your training sessions and race is critical. Dehydration is a common problem for runners. It can affect your physical and mental performance and increase cardiovascular strain.
Runners should drink approximately 400 to 800ml per hour depending on your weight, environmental conditions and speed. You should record your body weight before and after as many training runs as you can and you should lose no more than one to three per cent of your pre-run weight.
Step 4: You are what you eat
During marathon training you are putting your body through a lot, so fuel it with foods high in vitamin B and magnesium such as nuts, seeds and green leafy vegetables and increase your protein and carb intake with foods like eggs, lean meat, chicken, whole grains and brown rice.
Step 5: Set a training schedule
Start early and increase your training regime in the months leading up to the race, without pushing your body too far. Set the timeframe needed to reach your goal and remember race weekend is Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 July. This is when all your hard work will come together.