With the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon around the corner, my clients generally ask me to focus on one thing: LEGS. Endurance training places a lot of strain on the body - specifically on the muscles and tendons of the legs. Today's post will include tips on how to keep your legs in top form during training leading up to the event and on race day itself.
Let's be honest, we've all been guilty of not stretching our muscles after an intense workout. However regular post-run stretching can ward off muscular strains and sprains. The repetitive nature of running causes muscles to shorten and tighten. Stretching will help to lengthen the muscles back to its original form. 10 minutes of quality stretching after a run should do the trick.
This is not a ploy to market my services. However, Sports Massages are probably one of the most underestimated resources available to runners. A good Sports Massage will:
Treat yourself to a Sports Massage after a race or every few months. My advice: Not sure how often to have a Sports Massage? Listen to your body.
Non-impact cross-training are recovery tools to keep your legs in shape. For an active recovery try swimming, cycling or a session on the elliptical machine. Strength training should also not be forgotten. Full body resistance training helps with overall stability and injury prevention. Try squats, lunges and planks on the days you do not run.
It is important to invest in a good pair of running shoes. Your running shoe should be of a high quality, well fitted and functional. I recommend a visit to a specialist running retailer. These guys normally give advice on various brands or models, assess your gait and let you try out the shoe before you actually buy them.
Increased mileage when training for a marathon results in micro tears in the muscles. A consequence of this is muscle soreness and pain - possibly even injury. More often than not we tend to go out harder than our fitness levels will allow. As a beginner, it is recommended that we gradually introduce regularly running to our bodies, and not increase our weekly mileage by more than 10 percent.
The aforementioned tips are only guidelines used to ensure proper care of your body between runs. Without a doubt, marathon training should be about running. However incorporating these tips into your training schedule should enhance performance and keep you running injury free.
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Also watch out for our next blog coming soon.
Until then, cheers!