Health Blog

Running tips/ Tips for marathon runners

Motivation is a necessary tool to achieve the desired goals in life. It’s the reason that reinforces us to push our limits, to create the world that we have dreamed for, and to turn those dreams into a reality.

Effort is the second essential tool needed to accomplish the motivational task. But before the motivation and effort there is a primary component called Intention, that has to emerge first from within, and then only the motivation can be used to direct the efforts towards the goal.

The first hurdle that everyone has to face, in almost doing anything, is called Inertia that

means, the barrier that stops us to change the normal unhealthy or ongoing routine. The inertia can be physical or mental. Mental inertia is most difficult to break, which means we have to forget about all the false perceptions of disabilities that we have, regarding our own body,

health, and capabilities. Physical barriers, like aches and pains in muscles and joints, stamina and strength issues, mal-alignments, right techniques, and performance, can be dealt with patience and dedication.

Running is a natural activity. Almost all the living beings have been running, either for their food or survival or sometimes for fun. So our body knows this basic activity of running and we must remember that running is not new to our body. All we need to do is, to re-educate our brain and body for the same and that can be done with proper guidance, balanced diet, propersleep and good physical as well as mental health.

The components that help us to achieve the good performance in running and needs to be facilitated are; Stamina, Strength, flexibility, right technique and proper diet and sleep.

Stamina does not develop overnight. We need to be consistently pushing our limits to enhance our day to day performance. For which we need to set new goals on daily basis. Strength helps us to generate power during our performance, hence acts as an ignition to bring us forth in the competition. Flexibility gives us freedom to show our capabilities and reach that extra mile as well as prevents us from overuse injuries. Right techniques not only improves our performance, saves our energies but also prevents us from injuries. Proper diet and sleep is very essential to preserve and sustain our energy systems that act as a fuel during performance.

Principles that should be kept in mind while aiming for marathon running are;

  1. Proper warm-up and active stretching
  2. Start easy and gain the play gradually
  3. Alternate hard days with easy days to promote recovery
  4.  Keep changing the running terrain to avoid accommodation
  5.  Sleep well and eat properly
  6. Take small aches and pains easy in the beginning but keep watching that they are not worsening (they should rather ease up)
  7. Use proper foot gear and dress comfortably
  8. Practice relaxation techniques and deep breathing
  9. Learn about proper diet plans and pre-game meals.
  10. Compete with yourself first and try to be the best version of yourself each day.

We have different energy systems in our body that works accordingly. For example the energy system for sprint runners is different than for those who go for long run. So we need to train them accordingly. For marathon runners both aerobic and anaerobic energy systems need to be trained, but more emphasis is given over aerobic system that supplies the energy and oxygen for long run.

Goal: Running 5Km in 25 minutes

This 8-week plan is designed for runners who want to finish a 5K in 25 minutes, or

an average pace of 8:02 per mile. It features five days of running per week,

including easy runs, tempo runs, and interval runs, plus long runs of 6 to 11 miles.

Weekly mileage starts at 20 miles per week and peaks at 30 miles per week the

week before the race.

Plan Overview

  • Plan Length: 8 Weeks
  • Weekly Routine: 5 days of running, 2 rest days
  • Weekly Mileage: 17–29 miles
  • Long Runs: Start at 6 miles, peak at 10 miles
  • Quality Workouts: Tempo runs and mile repeats

Half Marathons:

  • It takes minimum 12 weeks for advanced runner, 16 weeks for intermediate runner and 20 weeks for a beginner to prepare for half marathon; with 16-24 km a week before racing. Early start will help.
  • Alternate longer runs with easier recovery runs as well as cross-training sessions like biking or swimming will help you to strengthen your whole body.
  • Load your diet with carbs the week before the marathon so that your body is prepared for the physical challenge. Don’t eat too much the day of the race, since the food might feel heavy in your stomach and slow you down. Stay Hydrated and take rest the day before main event.

Abdul Majeed Bhat

Senior Physiotherapist


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