Marathon running is a growing trend. As you can see Marathon participation in the USA has gone from 4.6 million to 13 million in 20 years (1990-2010). See chart here. It seems like everyone and their mother are signing up for marathons lately. We’re all seeking to accomplish what seems like the impossible. Heck, I can’t blame people for trying, it looks like anyone can do it. All you have to do is go out and run, right? Simple, keep building on how much you run weekly, right? It’s like deciding one day that you’d like to become an Olympic gymnast, as an adult, with no experience whatsoever. Kinda sounds crazy. That’s what I thought, why do people want to put themselves through this kind of training? Maybe I’m biased, after all, I trained as a competitive gymnast for close to 17 years, spending 4 hours in the gym, 6 days a week. I guess I’m at a point in my life where I’m enjoying exercise rather than experiencing exercise as a job. I certainly don’t have all the answers, just my own experiences to base this on. All I can do is give the most professional advice I can as well as serve the people I’m helping.
Preparing To Run A Marathon
Quite frankly, my biggest concern lies with the people who have no experience with marathon running, much less a 5k. How do these people prepare for a marathon? I don’t know about you, but getting injured and burnt out because you’re not truly prepared just doesn’t sound like fun to me. So, if you’re considering a marathon, please ask yourself these three questions. Why am I doing this? Who am I doing this for? Am I realistically prepared to do this?
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s very admirable to set your goals and standards high, but at what cost? Do you want to compromise your happiness, health and life experiences? For me, it’s really more about the journey, rather than the end result or destination. If the destination were all there was in life, I think the world would be a boring place. I think it’s about what’s inside of you rather than what you seek outside of yourself. I’m sure most of you have heard this before, but let’s face it, it’s a hard concept to put into action. Believe me I’m constantly working on this. It’s a reminder, a state of awareness. Just be clear on why you’re doing it in the first place. As long as it’s serving your highest and best interests, you’re good. After all, the initial intention for most people in participating in a marathon is to get healthy and feel good. Unfortunately, it becomes self destructive for so many because they’re not prepared for all of the stresses that marathon running puts on the body, mind and spirit.
Suggestions on how to prepare:
- Plan ahead. Don’t decide you’re going to do a half marathon two months before the race. Give yourself enough time to train properly and recover. Six months to a year is a good amount of time to prepare for a race if you’re an intermediate or advanced exerciser. Meaning you’ve been able to train without injury or sickness for two years or more without missing a day of training. If you’re a beginner you need two years to train without missing a day of training before you can even consider signing up for a race.
- Find an experienced practitioner or coach who can plan a periodized strength and stability program individual to your needs. Whether you hire an experienced practitioner to coach you one-on-one, or one who can develop a program you can do on your own, it’s worth it. Everyone has different needs when it comes to posture and gait, so it’s essential to find someone who can help you create a program to tailor any postural corrections, stability or gait issues. As well, we all have different jobs, lifestyles, movement patterns, stresses and past traumas, so you need a program that tailors to fit those needs too.
- Do it because you want to do it. Don’t sign up because all your friends are signing up or you made a pact to do it together. If you do it because you want to do it, then go for it, but if deep down this is something you really don’t want to commit to, then don’t do it.
- Life is too short, do things you enjoy.
- Eat organic, clean foods. The fuel you choose is just as important as the the exercises you choose. I recommend eating only high quality organic fruits, veggies, and meats without antibiotics and hormones added. Make sure you’re getting proper ratios of proteins, to carbohydrates to fats. They all need to be included in every meal. I suggest listening to your body to find out which ratios work best for you. Also, water intake should be adequate. I prefer water that is filtered and doesn’t come in a plastic bottle. Adding minerals to your water with fruit, lemon, lime, etc., helps your body absorb the water more efficiently.
Hope this helps you find flow in your training and it becomes a more enjoyable experience for you.
If you want to know more information about how to train for marathons or to schedule a consultation please contact me.