Getting Ready For A Marathon
Happy New Month! If you have been feeling a bit sluggish with your fitness journey as we all do, here is a special feature that should give you an extra kick. The Standard Charted Marathon is an annual event that attracts more than 20,000 participants ever year raising funds for the needy in the community. More often than not, most people who participate in the marathon show up on the day of the race without having prepared adequately for it and this exposes you to injury. Having participated in marathons in the past, I have picked some running tips that significantly helped with my preparation, the actual run, and recovery.
+ Get active before the big day! Whether you are running a 5km, 21km or the full marathon, it’s important to start getting active before the big day. This increases blood flow to the muscles which will help them loosen up and delivers the nutrients and oxygen they will need for the intense run. If you are a beginner, try to run for at least 20 minutes three times a week and incorporate strength training. I would also advise you against running 21km if you haven't been specifically preparing for it. Opt for the smaller distances and slowly build your endurance.
+ Running outdoors is the best way to train because you need to acclimatize your body to running on a terrain as opposed to a conveyer belt. Studies have also proved that running on a treadmill is actually detrimental to your knee joints. Have you ever heard of runner’s knees? This is when your knees get sensitive and hurt while you perform different types of exercises. Outdoor running is highly recommended because it prepares your body for the actual race since the marathon won’t be taking place on a treadmill.
+ Get the right running shoes! This is so important in making sure you don’t get any shin splints or knee injuries while you run. You should also avoid wearing brand new shoes on the final day because your legs need to adjust to the new pair. Have a look at this list by Runner's World where they listed the best running shoes in 2018 so far.
+ Running accessories will keep you going! I have found that running with a pair of good earphones while listening to a power playlist goes a long way in helping with my momentum. In the past, I have never found the perfect pouch for placing my car keys, mobile phone and ear phones until I came across “Lornah Sports Running Belt”. Its the perfect accessory as you can also store some nibbles to snack on during the run without it being bulky.
+ Download the Nike Running Mobile Application. Whether you are a beginner, intermediary or an advanced runner, tracking your progress is the best way to determine whether you are improving or stagnating. The best part is that it’s user friendly and available both on the android and apple store at no cost. Once you download the application, simply tap the start button when you start running and you can thank me later.
+ Get a running buddy or run with a group. The first time I ran a 10km, I did it with a group of friends which helped with motivation and maintaining the momentum. Running a marathon doesn’t have to be an individualistic affair, it can be a social activity which should be enjoyable. At the end of the day, we are all running for a great cause right?
+ Resting is crucial. As you are training for the marathon, make sure you are getting enough rest at night and more specifically, the days leading to the marathon. The recommended number of hours of sleep is eight hours. Failing to get enough rest can lead to exhaustion and your body can go into shock leading to injury or even fainting. We definitely don't want that! :)
+ Believe in yourself. In as much as this might seem like a cliché statement, there is nothing as powerful as coupling physical preparation with having the confidence to run the marathon. Trust that your body will get you from the start to the finishing point because our minds give up before our bodies give in. But mental preparation has to be complemented with hard work, there is no shortcut.
In light of the upcoming marathon, we have collaborated with PACE Africa, Z6 Cross Training and The Wellness Project Africa to bring to you a ‘Pre-Marathon Bootcamp’ that will take place on 13th October, 2018 at Alpha Fit from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. It will kick off with wellness checks (health assessments) where The Wellness Project will assess our blood sugar, cholesterol and blood count. This will be followed by a rigorous cross training by Edmund Mujumba; the founder of Z6 Cross Training and at the end of the workout, we will be given running tips by a former professional athlete and nutrition tips by a certified nutritionist.
PACE Africa will also be selling their earphones at a special offer on that day alone! We will also have special merchandise that will be on offer on the day of the bootcamp along with other vendors. You will need all these on the final day of the marathon which is 28th October, 2018.
PRE- MARATHON BOOTCAMP
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Chief Online Editor: Loise Machira
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