Marathon Update January 2017-Our advice SLOW DOWN
So you may well be getting further into your training and I hope you are enjoying it!
Firslty, some difficulties and soreness are completely normal. However, pain should not be ignored and worth addressing at this point.
However, if we had to provide just one piece of advice at this stage in your training it would be…SLOW DOWN! I realise that this sounds strange but I would like to develop this a little further and explain my reasoning with a few key points.
1. It will allow you to go further and ultimately quicker. You may well be getting further into your mileage on your long runs. I am sure this is probably going well and you are enjoying conquering landmarks, 10K, 10 Miles, Half Marathon and maybe further. I applaud you and encourage you contine to enjoy these achievements. However, I also believe there may be a thought in the back of your mind. The thought that we all have of “I still have to run a lot further on the day!”. This statement is obviously true and should not be ignored. The fact is in on the day you will be running 26.2 miles. Therefore slowing in your training now will allow you to maintain a realisitc pace that will be sustainable on the day. Judging a realistic pace can be difficult but there are a few ways that can help. Methods such as monitoring heart rate, being able to hold a conversation and for one minute each mile breathing in through the nose only can help to maintain a manageable pace. Please feel free to contact us to discuss further methods of finding your marathon pace. Further information can be seen in my previous blog on marathon running, read on for further information.
2. It will help to reduce the risk of injuries occuring. Both acute and overuse injuries are far more common in soft tissue structures that are fatigued. Therefore, reducing your pace will delay fatigue occuring and as a result place less stress on the body. So often, we become focused on speed and forget that injury or pain will ultimately slow us down rather than keeping a consistent pain free pace. Pain around the lower back, hips, knees, ankles and feet are very common in marathon runners at this stage. These are usually caused by increased tension of other surrounding structures placing stain on the affected area. However, slowing down will prevent the onset of the increased muscle tension and ultimately injury. Dont forget, with every increase in mileage you are placing new strains on your body that you have never experienced before.
3. Its more fun. A crucial aspect for any runner. We often get fixated on achieving a certain distance in a set time. As a result we set out on that long run with this goal in mind. However, this usually results in ‘hanging on’ for the final few miles and each step being taken on ‘jelly legs’. This makes for a far less enjoyable completion of that run. Remember, this is meant to be your recereational time and something you are doing for enjoyment, so slow down and have fun!v Enjoy the views.
Why is it so difficult to slow down!
Well it certainly seems to be for me anyway. I decided this can be answered with one word- ego. We become obessed with becoming faster as this seems to be a way of monitoring improvements. For a 5 and 10K this is porobaly accurate. However, to complete a marathon I believe you have to accept that this is an extraordinary demand for the average athete and your body will have to adapt to meet these demands. For these adapatations to occur we have to be patient. So take my advice, slow down, enjoy the journey and you will end up quicker.
Are you having pains during or after your runs? Have questions about running your best marathon. Get in touch with us.
I hope you have enjoyed this blog. These are just my views and opinions so would always appreciate your feedback.