Awesome! You have chosen to run a marathon. But before you jump on to wear those shoes and hit the jogging track, let’s see what kind of fitness level required to achieve this goal. As we go ahead, we will discuss more.
- When was the last time you ran?
- Did you run at least for a km without getting too uncomfortable?
- Have you ever tried strength training in the past?
It is highly recommended to ask these questions to yourself and plan your marathon journey accordingly. Whenever you start running, make sure that you run at different paces. Try sometimes sprinting or sometimes running on the inclined surface. So eventually, when you will run the actual marathon, you can score better than others.
Even strength training prepares you for running long distances. You can build stronger quadriceps, hamstring, and calf muscles. These muscles play a significant role in acceleration or deceleration.
Now let’s see what those five magical strategies are which will turn your marathon into a success:
You need to work on these muscles which are listed below to be successful for the marathon:
Glutes (hip muscles) – These muscles work in pairs called gluteus maximus and minimus. Strengthening them with exercises like squats and lunges is a great idea.
Hamstrings – These muscles help in flexing the knee; they work like shock absorbers. Strengthening them with exercises like stiff-legged deadlift is beneficial. Stretching these muscles also loosens them and makes your running effortless.
Lower leg (calf muscles) – These muscles are a combination of 2 muscles known as the gastrocnemius and soleus. Strengthening them with exercises like seated and standing calf raises are beneficial. Then post running stretching them gives you an edge while running.
Quads (leg muscles) – Strongest muscles in the body are quadriceps (made up of 4 muscles). They are also the most active muscles surrounded by the strongest bone, which is a femur. Strengthening them with exercises like squats and lunges is very helpful. Stretching them post-run is also good.
Knees – Ligaments and tendons work as connective tissue in knee movement. While doing the above exercises, these ligaments and tendons become thicker. So while running, you can withstand more pressure and increase your endurance. Also growing your weekly run time by 10 percent can improve your efficiency.
Most importantly, you should have fun while running. Change your running route often, or run with a buddy so that you are accountable. Set small goals like reducing the running time every day.
Nutrition is also one of the significant components for marathon preparation. It plays a vital role. So keep your meals balanced with all the macronutrients and micronutrients. The macronutrients are carbohydrates, protein, and fat, which play a crucial role in providing all the energy needed. They also help you to run with more ease. Micronutrients like zinc and iron help a lot in making your running better.
To Conclude, If you follow these instructions religiously then running for the marathon will not be a challenge. It will look more achievable. It is advised by professional marathoners that one should start with a 5K run and then gradually progress – so happy running.