Sunday, March 24, 2013

Training for a marathon, Part One

Last year I didn’t run any marathons, due to an ankle injury, prior to that I ran maybe one or two a year. Although, it’s not a lot, it’s a great goal and training tool to lose weight, and show the world what you can accomplish. But-training and planning for something like a marathon is very important. Even for a short 5K which is 3.5 miles. You need to train for it with a slow build up on distance.
In my last post about exercise, I talked about the illnesses that plagued me over the winter months. I had felt like I had to start at the bottom again for my training and diet. I’m planning on two fall marathons this year, so I’m starting now. Those are half-marathons 14 miles. I might do a couple of 5K’s to practice, but the training is to make the 14miles. I’ve run short distances recently on my treadmill, than went for a big run over the weekend of 6 miles. I felt every mile by the time I was done. I had blisters and sore toes. My thighs ached for two days, but I felt good about making the distance. I really didn’t expect I would get that far. I didn’t run the whole distance, but did a run walk. When training, that is the best way. Run, walk.
Starting out: Running by far, is the cheapest form of exercise. You don’t need a gym. You’re outside. It’s great for the soul and to clear the mind. Very relaxing. The only equipment needed is a good pair of running shoes. That is a complete necessity, and in my opinion a requirement. A good pair of shoes is the most expensive investment. They help prevent injury. Research the shoes, read the reviews, and talk to runners. Then start trying on shoes. When you find a pair you like, and are lucky enough to find them on sale at a good price, buy two pair. Keep watching to see if they go on clearance and buy some more. When you start to train and run more and more, shoes will have to be replaced every few months, again to help prevent injury. The supports break down with all the pounding. I go through about 3 to 4 pair a year.
Another thing is socks. There are socks made for running. The toes, heels and top of the foot are padded. It helps with blisters. They’re not a cure all, you’ll get blisters especially on your first long run, but the socks help. You might find no matter what you do there is a spot on your foot that blisters. For me it’s my little toe and the toe next to it on my left foot. I wrap them with surgical tap. You’ll figure out your feet as you start to run distances.
Ignore all the cute running clothes. Wear what is comfortable and go for it. Exercise clothing is expensive. Just dress for the weather and in layers.
The Run: Training for a run is pretty simple. There is only a little bit of science to it. Start low and slow. If you haven’t run in a long, long time or ever, don’t run, but walk. Start with walking. Build up to a fast walk, by walking distances. Mark goals, by distance. Don’t overdue when you first start, even with walking. If you’re out of shape, even walking can produce injuries and blisters. Take it slow and listen to your body.  
Now you feel you’re at the point of running. Again, take it slow. Stretch, walk for at least 10 minutes. Then go into a slow jog for five minutes. Walk for five minutes, then run five. This is the beginning of your training schedule. Do this until you feel comfortable increasing the run. Do that by two minutes, building up to five. How long does this take? Depends on conditioning. Listen to your body. The goal is to run more than you walk. Be patient with your progress and don’t push it. Starting out, do a run walk every other day. Joints and muscles need time to recover when out of shape. At first, everything hurts. To prevent injury recovery is essential.
The Marathon: When picking your first marathon, think small. Very small. Try a 5K first. They are only about a 1hr of running and fun. Make sure you’re having fun. Practice the course, or one that is similar and the same distance. Time yourself and see if you can make it. It’s a great feeling of accomplishment. Build up from there and move up the longer distance and keep training.
My most important advice, listen to your body. Don’t disregard sharp continuous joint pain. It could be a sign of an injury. You don’t have to have a incident to be injured. It just happens and can be very sudden. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!!! Always..Now go forth, train and have fun.  

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