Tips for Writing a Marathon Training Plan

If you need to draw up a marathon running training schedule, then you will want to start with the basics, which includes what you will be doing on certain days throughout the week. It’s always good to throw in a variety of exercises and techniques, so you are physically well-rounded for the race. There are many things that beginners will want to know, including how to pace yourself. In a marathon, you will be faced with the challenge of finding the right rhythm and deciding when are the best times to walk and when to run, because a marathon doesn’t necessarily mean running through the entire race.

Training for a marathon means knowing your physical boundaries and what you are capable of. At first you will want to take it easy and be sure to stay within your comfort zone, pushing out slowly but surely. If you are running in a 5k marathon, you might want to think about only doing half that distance for the first week or two. This will give your body an adjusting period, where it will become used to the strains you are placing upon it. As the weeks progress, you can start running farther and farther, until eventually you are running the full distance of the marathon you are competing in.

Some people who participate in these types of events think that speed is everything, however they are sorely mistaken. Although speed is certainly one important aspect of doing well in a marathon race, you also need to consider pacing. Pacing yourself is much more important than being concerned with running the fastest. While at first someone who start off running may feel like they are getting an edge on the competition, eventually they will tire and slow down significantly. Conserving your energy for the long haul is an important tip to follow for any type of race.

When devising your marathon running training schedule, you will of course need to make allowances for breaks. You should give yourself at least 2 days out of the week to let your body recover from everything you have been putting it through. This means taking an entire day out to rest and lay around the house, at least twice every week. When you give yourself this time of healing, your muscles will grow stronger the next time you work out and train. It is essentially the same principle that weight-lifters use to build muscle.

To come up with the best schedule for the marathon, you will need to think about what your goals are. If you simply want to get across the finish line and complete the race, then you probably won’t need to run 15 miles each day. If you want to place among the top athletes however, then you will want to make sure that each day you train, your intensity level is up to 10. This means giving it your all and making sure you use effective techniques that vary throughout the week. Running the same distance using the same pace every single day you train can ultimately slow you down in the long run.

For a well-rounded training schedule, you will also want to think about throwing in different types of cardiovascular workouts, such as cycling. You can either get on a real bike or use one at the gym. Either way you will be getting the kind of workout that will pay off with your running. The more you pedal or run, the more your body gets used to the intense cardiovascular demands you put on it. Following this kind of training schedule is what will prepare you for the marathon and ensure that you do not slow down or hit a wall.

Marathon Training Tips To Help You Run Your First Marathon In 2013

2013 is here and if you plan to run your first full marathon this year? Here are tips to make sure your dream is not just a pipe dream but becomes a reality.

Make sure you train

Okay, this sounds blindingly obvious and it will be considered foolish to most people to embark on running a Half Marathon without doing any training. However, it does happen and, of course, the people who do so are daft.

There is more to this point than those people silly enough not to train. Firstly, it is important to train specifically for running a Half Marathon. You may be fit already as a result of going to the gym, playing football, swimming etc, but if your body is not conditioned to running long distances on tarmac, over various road contours and in varying weather conditions, then you will not be ready for a Half Marathon run. Even if you are already fit and active, it is important your training is all about running. Well, not quite all, but the vast majority of your training in the months before a Half Marathon should involve running.

Finally, it is important to complete your training schedule and run on every day you are supposed to. Always remember it is those days when do not want to run but do so anyway that will mean the most on race day.

So, whatever your level of fitness or general motivation, this message is important: make sure you train.

Pick the right marathon training schedule

A Marathon Training Schedule is a great way to not only plan your preparation for race day, but to also ensure you do enough training. Marathon Training Schedules are tried and tested with every day of training planned out in advance, making it easier to build training sessions into your daily routine.

Selecting the wrong schedule, however, could be disastrous.

Firstly, be realistic about your abilities. It will be incredibly de-motivating to struggle to complete each day’s training. That is an important sentence as Marathon Training is as much about building mental toughness as physical fitness. By completing every day of training (even the rest days), you are one step closer to completing your ultimate goal. The sense of achievement will be particularly pronounced on the days with long distance runs.

To finish this point, it is also important to avoid schedules that are too easy. It is all about finding the balance – you will want a schedule that is challenging enough that you improve as you train while not being so difficult that you cannot complete each day’s run. It is also important to be realistic about the time you can allocate each day to training. It is no use choosing a schedule that will require an average of one hour training every day if your lifestyle does not allow that.

Stay hydrated

Studies have shown that being as little as 2 percent dehydrated can have a negative effect on your running performance. Being dehydrated can make you run slower and may make you feel sluggish and light-headed. You may also start to cramp. It is therefore important to make sure you take on enough fluids while Half Marathon Training.

Include strength training in your schedule

Leg strength is a key element of Marathon Training. It is one of the main factors in determining whether you run the marathon in the time you want. It is also a factor in determining whether you can complete the whole event running, without having to walk.

Strength training can take many different forms, including using a cross training machine at the gym or going to a circuits or spin class. It could also be much simpler, though. You could do plenty of hill work during your normal training runs – the steeper the hill, the better. Or, you could incorporate speed work into your normal training runs.

Any sort of strength training you do will reap benefits on race day.

Stay Positive When Training

Being mentally fit is as important as being physically fit when it comes to being successful in a Half Marathon run. It is no different to any other sport, or in fact any other aspect of life. If you are not in the right frame of mind, it is very hard to achieve your goals.

The most important things is to stay positive throughout your training. Tell yourself every day that you feel good, fit and strong. That may sound silly to some, but it does work. Treat every completed day’s training as an achievement and congratulate yourself for taking another step closer to your goal.

To Your Success! May you dream turn to reality in 2013.

How To Improve Running Stamina

Building running stamina requires time and practice, and the payoffs are worth the efforts. Good stamina is important if you want to run faster and further. For instance, if you can’t sustain running for more than 20 minutes, then you’re probably not benefiting from the training and may be actually wasting your time and energy.

Therefore, if you want to increase your stamina for running here are 3 ways that can help.

Build Stamina By Running Shorter Races

The fastest way to face difficulties with your running training is trying to rush the training by setting over-the border and unrealistic goals. Do not rush this, nor be over-excited to develop good stamina. If your goals are well beyond what you currently can do, you’ll only increase the likelihood of injury and burnouts. Instead, the way to go is to set challenging but realistic goals and build on that.

For instance, if you can run for 10K but it takes you considerable efforts ( you find yourself extremely exhausted and sore at the end of the workout), then you’re overdoing the exercise. The 10K isn’t a realistic goal for you. Instead, aim to run for 3 or 4 miles and gradually build your running distance. After a while, you’ll be able to run that 10K distance without much trouble.

Do Tempo Runs To Build Running Stamina

Adding distance is not enough, you need to make your training more intense. One of the best running training strategies is the tempo run. This type of running trains your body to run further and faster with less fatigue. Also known as lactate threshed training, tempo runs are key in developing metabolic fitness, this means that your body becomes more efficient at handling lactic acid from your working muscle,eventually leading to less fatigue.The more endurance level you have, the higher you push your lactate threshold.

A tempo run pace is 70-80% of your maximum cardio power. This is the point where you start building lactic acid in your legs and working muscles. Start your run with 5 minutes of slow jogging, then gradually increase the intensity and continue with 15-25 minutes of running at about 10 seconds slower than your 10K pace. If you’re not sure how a 10K pace should feel like, just run at a pace that feels comfortably hard, but not too much.

Do Interval Running to build Stamina

If you don’t have enough time for a tempo run, interval running is the way to go. Also referred to as High Intensity Training Interval (or HIIT), this type of training is ideal for shedding weight, increasing muscle mass, boosting running speed and performance, and enhancing overall fitness and health level.

Here is a beginner interval workout:

– Start with a 5 minute jog for warm-up ;

– Run at interval pace (80-90% of your maximum heart rate) for one full minute, then jog slowly for one minutes recovery interval

– Repeat the cycle 7-8 times :

– End the workout with 5 minutes jog as cool down. Breathe deeply and stretch afterwards.

The above program is just to give you an idea on how to proceed with an interval running workout. Don’t feel the need to follow it verbatim. Use some common sense and adjust it to your own needs and fitness level.

These 3 training guidelines can take your stamina levels beyond what thought possible. They are that powerful. Nevertheless, you need to practice the skill and put into action what you’ve just learned. Speed of implementation is key to success.

David DACK is a runner and an established author on weight loss, motivation and fitness.

If you want more free tips from David DACK, then go to http://runnersblueprint.com/weightlossrunning.html

Injury Prevention When Training for a Half Marathon

Running a half marathon requires doing thorough training. Elite runners run over 200Kms per week when preparing for a race. A hobby run will need to run at least 75-100 Kms per week to be able to able to finish in a descent time.  Although running many Kilometres in training is good, it also increases the likely hood of  suffering a running injury.

Simple precautions to prevent injuries when training for a half marathon

Don’t be too enthusiastic

This is common with new runners. Starting to train for a first half marathon can be very exciting. When new runners start to feel the improvements in their performance from one run to the next, and begin to see significant improvements when they look in the mirror, it is really easy to get carried away with enthusiasm and train too hard. Unfortunately that can often lead to a highly demotivating injury, which always occurs at the most inconvenient time.

Listen to Your Body When Training

The first important thing for all runners to do is to listen to their body. Often nagging aches and pains are a warning that we’re pushing too hard. Most injuries give a warning before becoming serious. That is the time to stop, have a few days off running, then start back very gently, being wary of any further warnings. It may be frustrating to have a few days without running, but that is much better than having an enforced month off. And even while you are off running you can still do some cross training or other exercises so the time is never wasted.

Strength Training Exercises to Prevent Injuries

Next runners need to do extra work on various parts of the body. It is very tempting to think that running provides all of the exercise that we need. In reality, most of us need to work on increasing core strength and leg strength. Both help to ensure that our muscles are strong enough for the things we are asking them to do, and they help to improve running posture and movements, reducing the stress placed on joints. Running five days a week may sound great, but sometimes it’s better to run three days, and do some serious muscle building on the other two.

Go Easy on Long Runs

As distance increases, speed should decrease. Trying to run as fast as possible every time you get your running shoes on is only ever going to end badly. It’s fine to do some speed work every week, but that really should only be a small percentage of the total distance run. Even elite runners only do a tiny amount of fast work – use long runs just for increasing endurance. That is the way to long term success.

Get Faster by running less

Finally, sometimes less is more. And with running, it is better to workout often but not too hard, than to end up visiting the physiotherapist. Above all, listen to your body – if it hurts, stop before it breaks!

Find out more about training for a half marathon at www.erunningweightloss.com/halfmarathontraining

Weak Knees : Exercise to Strengthen Weak Knees

Weak knees affects a few runners. A reader of this blog sent me an email asking me what she can do with her weak knees.

The New York times had an article on the issue of running and knees.

Running Makes your Knees stronger

In a Stanford University study researchers followed middle-aged, longtime distance runners (not necessarily marathoners) for nearly 20 years, beginning in 1984, when most were in their 50s or 60s. At that time, 6.7 percent of the runners had creaky, mildly arthritic knees, while none of an age-matched control group did. After 20 years, however, the runners’ knees were healthier; only 20 percent showed arthritic changes, versus 32 percent of the control group’s knees. Barely 2 percent of the runners’ knees were severely arthritic, while almost 10 percent of the control group’s were.

Debunking the myth that Running leads to degeneration of the knees

The word on the street is that running may weaken your knees but In another scientific study runners knees were scanned before and after 1997 Vienna Marathon. Ten years later, they scanned the same runners’ knees again. The results were striking. “No major new internal damage in the knee joints of marathon runners was found after a 10-year interval,”

According to Ross Tucker, a South African who blogs about running injuries he said the best solution for weak knees is targeted strength training. If you work on the the muscles that support your knees, hip stabilizers, quads, hamstrings you will have strong knees. It is weakness in one of these muscle groups that causes knee injury.

Another interesting solution I picked from comments on the NY times article was this one by a Dr. “The issue is weight, not running. The more you weigh, the greater the chance you will develop osteoarthritis as you age. The key is to remain slim lifelong.”

VIDEO : EXERCISES TO STRENGTHEN KEY LEG MUSCLES TO PREVENT INJURIES

This video should help

Harry Reid Boston Marathon Finish Time

“But, as in everything in life, races are not won by sprinters. They’re won by marathoners.” Harry Reid comments after winning 2010 senate re-election after all polls predicted a loss.

Reid, is more known from his stint as an amateur boxer but he had a successful stint as an amateur marathon runner. When he was 32 years he ran 1972 Boston Marathon and finished in with a very creditable 3:16,” according to a Christian Science Monitor story.

To finish a marathon in 3:16 Reid must have run each mile at a pace of 7 minutes and 29 seconds. The half marathon split was 1:38.

I looked online for running information of other politicians and  I saw Reid is the second fastest US politician.

1. Max Baucus – 3:01

2. Harry Reid – 3:16

3. John Edwards – 3:30

4. George Bush – 3:44

5. Eliot Spitzer – 3:58

6. Sarah Plin – 3:59

7. Paul Ryan – 4:01

8. Mike Huckabee – 4:37

9. Bill Frist – 4:54

10. Al Gore – 4:58

 

Gym Exercises For Marathon Runners

If you want to add strength and power to your marathon running you need to add strength training to your regular running routine.  Strength training exercises focused running muscles can add speed and endurance to your running. One pro athlete who has benefited from adding gym work outs to his regular running is Mo Farah.

This is what Alberto Salazar said of Mo Farah immediately after Mo won 10,000 & 5000 gold at 2012 London Games;

When Mo came to me 18 months ago, he was a skinny distance runner with a great engine but no upper body. At the end of races, he would tire and his head would bob around and his arms would flail.

‘He was the weakest athlete I’d ever trained — in terms of core strength and being able to do push-ups, sit-ups and single-leg squats. He was a 90lb weakling.

‘The No 1 thing that has helped Mo is not the 110 miles a week he puts in on the road, but the seven hours a fortnight in the gym.’

Going to the gym for the runner is not about beefing up but about building strength. The following gym exercise will help you build strength without adding unnecessary muscle weight.

Gym Exercise to Build upper strength

Push Ups

press ups

If done properly push ups will add strength to your chest, shoulders, triceps, back, abs and even the legs. Make sure your body is parallel to the surface. Connect your breath with your movements to make it easier. Inhale as you bend your elbows out to the sides and lower your torso down, and exhale as you straighten your arms and lift your torso back to the starting position.

Sit ups

Doing sit-ups is a quick way to get stronger abdominal muscles. Start off with doing the number you are comfortable with lets say 5 and then  add the number when you get stronger. If you can’t do them by yourself, ask someone to hold your feet.

Gym Exercise to Build upper strength

Squats

 

Squats or squads are good for increase strength. full body exercise that trains primarily the muscles of the thighs, hips and buttocks, quads, hamstrings, as well as strengthening the bones, ligaments and insertion of the tendons throughout the lower body. This is one exercise that will involve all the leg muscles used during running. To add more strength you can hold a weight on your shoulders.

Calf raise

Finally I come to calf raise. This exercise can be done at your door step or on stair case. Calf raises will strengthen all the muscles of the lower leg.

The beauty of these exercises fro marathon runners is you don’t have to go to a gym you can do them from home.

2012 Berlin Marathon Results

The results are in from 2012 Berlin Marathon. In the men’s race its was a 1,2,3 Kenyan sweep while in the women’s race it was an Ethiopian sweep.

Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya was the men’s winner. His crossed the finish line in a time of 2 hours 4 minutes and 15 seconds. He narrowly failed in his quest to break the world record.

Mutai win here gives him unassailable lead in the world marathon majors series which awards points during a two-year cycle from finish positions in the Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York marathons with a million dollar jackpot split between the men’s and women’s winners.

Another notable performance was from 19 year old Kenyan, Geoffrey Kipsang who came in third in a time of  2:06:12. I think this is best marathon time by any teenager in the world.

In the women’s race, Ethiopia clinched a one-two double with pre-race favourite Aberu Kebede winning he second Berlin marathon in 2:20:30. Her training partner Tirfi Tsegaye was second with Ukraine’s Olena Shurhno third.

2012 Berlin Marathon MEN’S RESULTS

1. Geoffrey Mutai (Kenya) 2:04:15
2. Dennis Kimetto (Kenya) 2:04:16
3. Geoffrey Kipsang (Kenya) 2:06:12
4. Nicholas Manza (Kenya) 2:08:28
5. Josphate Keiyo (Kenya) 2:08:41
6. Josphat Jepkopol (Kenya) 2:08:44
7. Jonathan Kiplimo Maiyo (Kenya) 2:09:19
8. Eliud Kiptanui (Kenya) 2:09:59
9. Felix Keny (Kenya) 2:10:22
10. Masakazu Fujiwara (Japan) 2:11:31

2012 Berlin Marathon WOMEN’S RESULTS

1. Aberu Kebede (Ethiopia) 2:20:30
2. Tirfi Tsegaye (Ethiopia) 2:21:19
3. Olena Shurhno (Ukraine) 2:23:32
4. Filomena Chepchirchir (Kenya) 2:24:56
5. Fate Tola (Ethiopia) 2:25:14
6. Alevtina Biktimirova (Russia) 2:28:45
7. Caroline Chepkwony (Kenya) 2:30:34
8. Anna Hahner (Germany) 2:30:37
9. Sonia Samuels (Britain) 2:30:56
10. Degefa Biruktayit (Ethiopia) 2:33:27

Kinesio Tape Medical Benefits : Pain Relief : Relax Muscle

I noticed a lot of athletes at 2012 London games were wearing strips of brightly colored tape on the arms, legs, and torsos. The tape is called Kinesio tape. Many athletes believe it has medical benefits.

The tape was invented by Japanese chiropractor Kenzo Kase in the 1970s.  The people behind Kinesio tape claim it can alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, relax muscles, enhance performance, and help with rehabilitation as well as supporting muscles during a sporting event.

Do they work?

There is no scientific evidence that Kinesio tapes does what it promises but the fact that top athletes use it may be evidence this tapes have “Magical Effects”

WebMD has a good article on Kinesio Tapes and all experts interviewed ruled out any physical benefits. They agreed on one thing. Kinesio Tapes have mental benefit.

“I’m still struggling to come to terms with how tape that is placed on skin can have any real, major effect on performance, other than potentially, a psychological effect.”

Brewer says if athletes think the tape will help support their muscles, then that can boost their confidence. “I think if you can get somebody in the right frame of mind, then that can make a big difference on what they do.

Five Benefits of Kinesio Tape

In that webmd article they interviewed a physiotherapists who gave some details on how this tape works:-

  1. It allows free movement of lymphatic fluid.
  2. It reduces friction between the tissues in the skin.
  3. It also helps with the movement of blood and lactic acid. It takes the tension off certain muscles.
  4. Allows a little bit better circulation.
  5. Helps to tone muscles down, to take some of the tension out of the muscle, as well as in ways designed to stimulate affected areas.

Famous Athletes who say Kinesio tape works.

In the Euro 2012 Championship, Italian striker Mario Balotelli was sporting three tramlines of blue sticky tape on his back.

Mario Balotteli Kinesio Tape

And Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic has had his elbow, knee and shoulders patched up with the same stuff.

Novak Djokovic Kinesio Tape

Buying Kinesio Tape online

This tapes are cheap and available online. Amazon is selling a roll at $10. You can choose the color you want. To buy Kinesio tape go to Amazon Shopping
.

 

Alberto Salazar Talks About Training Work Out For Mo Farah

Alberto Salazar has been training Mo Forah since 2011. Alberto was the mastermind behind Mo Farah Olympic double of 5000 and 10,000 m at London 2012. Anyone who watched the two races must have noticed the incredible strength and energy Mo exhibited in the final lap.

In an interview with daily mail newspaper of UK. Alberto said the secret to turning Mo Farah from an average runner was working on building his strength.

Salazar said: ‘When Mo came to me 18 months ago, he was a skinny distance runner with a great engine but no upper body. At the end of races, he would tire and his head would bob around and his arms would flail.

‘He was the weakest athlete I’d ever trained — in terms of core strength and being able to do push-ups, sit-ups and single-leg squats. He was a 90lb weakling.

‘The No 1 thing that has helped Mo is not the 110 miles a week he puts in on the road, but the seven hours a fortnight in the gym.’

Gym Training For Long Distance Running.

If you are going to incorporate gym work into your running routine you need to focus on gym workouts that directly engage the muscles used by runners when running. Some good gym exercises for runners are squats, calf raises for legs, Pillate, swiss ball exercises to help your core. Working on these muscles will not only help the runner to improve his physical strength but will also help to prevent injuries.