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Marathon Training Part 1

Marathon season is fast approaching, and if you’re planning to race you’re probably already well into your training!  Here’s some advice to keep in mind as you keep building up your mileage.

Eat Well

Good nutrition is very important while you’re training, so its time to cut out the junk food!

Make sure you’re getting all you need in terms of vitamins and minerals. Having a deficiency could impair your performance.

Your muscles primarily use carbohydrates for fuel, so ensure your diet contains a lot of complex carbs, such as whole grains, fruit and veg. 60-70% of your daily calories should come from these kinds of food!

Protein and fats are also important components – protein aids recovery and fats are another great energy source.

During the race, it’s a good idea to take something that’s going to give you a boost as your energy stores run low, like an energy gel. Its best to experiment with these during your training as not everybody agrees with the same gels! If your stomach is having a hard time with them, why not try something all-natural like a Huma chia seed gel, or, for a different texture, shotbloks from Clif which are like soft wine-gums.

Get the right kit

By now, you’ve probably found your favourite running shoe. Your shoes are your most important piece of kit, so it’s always worthwhile getting good advice from a specialist running shop that offers gait analysis, just to double check your shoes are still going to be great for you when you get to mile 20! Plus, having a shoe with the right level of support will help prevent injury in the lead up to the race.

Fit and comfort are also very important! Your feet can swell a lot over long distances so make sure you have plenty of space in the front of the shoe to avoid losing toenails. Again, a good running shop can help you out with this.

Bear in mind, running shoes last for about 400-600 miles before the cushioning breaks down and the shoe needs replacing. If you think you’ll need to refresh your shoes before the race, now is a great time to do it. You’ll have plenty of time to break them in, plus you can switch it up with your old pair while they have some life left in them!

On the subject of feet, a good technical running sock is a must! It’ll wick the moisture away from your foot and help prevent blisters.

Another piece of running equipment you might consider to add some science (and fun!) to your running is a GPS watch, which gives you a precise measure of your pace and distance. These watches can be great motivational tools and allow you to keep very specific records of your training.

Good luck with your training and stay tuned for part 2 of Sporting Feet’s marathon advice, coming soon!

Vikki Charman works at Sporting Feet

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