Friday, February 27, 2009

Marathon Training - The Gym.

Using a gym is an important part of any marathon training plan for a number of reasons. Many people are put off by the idea of going to a gym by thoughts of huge steroid fueled monsters, but they shouldn't be. Most gyms are frequented by average people, all there for a common purpose. The atmosphere can prove intimidating at first but you must give it time. If you join a gym for cross training, muscle endurance, general weight loss or to use the treadmill you will see huge benefits.

Cross training is an essential part of the modern marathon training programme. Often frowned upon by traditional runners cross training is vital for the runner looking for all round strength and fitness.

The gym is the ideal environment to achieve this. Cross training works very effectively if you move quickly from one piece of equipment to another, maintaining your heart rate at the correct level. Keeping your heart rate at the optimum level builds endurance and burns fat, but only if it is kept in the right zone for the right amount of time. With equipment in close proximity this can be achieved in the gym.

Not only is the gym perfect for the cardio vascular element of your marathon training, it is also the right place for muscular endurance component of it. Muscle endurance, which builds stamina in the muscles, is the type of muscle work that runners need as opposed to adding bulk and size which you don't need. Hamstring curls, leg raises, squats and lunges are examples of the types of exercise you should be doing. Adding this training to your marathon training programme will give your body more tone and less of the "classic runner" physique.

Marathon training in cold weather is a challenge no matter how motivated you are. Worse still are icy and snowy conditions when you shouldn't run at all. This is where treadmill training comes in. They allow you to stick to your training plan no matter how hostile the conditions are outside. There is no excuse to miss a marathon training session when you have access to a treadmill.

Treadmills can also help in the prevention of injuries. Pounding the pavements relentlessly can cause damage to knees, hips, shins and other body parts. The treadmill unlike the road, has significant shock absorption benefits which can minimize this impact.

Another huge benefit of treadmill marathon training is the availability of monitoring information. Running on the road can make monitoring more difficult unless you have a sophisticated GPS monitor, but with a treadmill the information is there at your fingertips. Furthermore, you can increase or decrease your pace immediately and know exactly how far you will run as a result.

To sum up, don't be scared or intimidated by the gym. Most people are at the same level and are focused on their own goals. Don't worry about what others are thinking and get on with your own training. Do this and you will take your marathon training to a whole new level!

For more Marathon tips and advice Click Here!

Marathon Training Diet - An Introduction.

The more you train, the more fuel your body demands and this will come from carbohydrates, protein and fat. For every mile you run you will burn around 100 calories as fuel. Carbohydrates are the key to endurance running but you must ensure that you eat a healthy, balanced marathon training diet.

Different foods contain different amounts of carbohydrates, fat and protein and each is broken down by the body to provide a different level of energy per gram of food. This is measured in kilocalories and it is fats that release the most energy- 9 kilocalories per gram as compared with 3.75 for crabs. Proteins release 4 kilocalories per gram.

However this does not mean that fats are the best source of energy. Glucose, which is stored in the body as glycogen is the most important fuel in your marathon training diet.This is created when carbohydrate is broken down. As the body can only store so much glycogen, eating the right foods is essential in replenishing these stores regularly.

Marathon training is aerobic exercise, which means that the body will use carbohydrates, fats ,and protein but it is the carbs that will be used more. In the early days of your training you will burn more fats because your fitness level will be lower. As your training increases in intensity you will begin to burn more carbs. Complex carbs are the key to generating energy as they release the fuel you need very slowly into your body.

You will feel more hungry than normal when you train regularly and you should satisfy that hunger with complex carbohydrates such as bread, rice, pasta and potatoes. As with all things, eat them in moderation. Specify the quantities of food you need in each meal in your marathon training diet plan and stick to this plan. Running is not an excuse to stuff your face.

Just after you return from a run it is vital to refuel as quick as possible. A sports drink with glucose and electrolytes will refuel an rehydrate at the same time so stock up.

It is not good to become too obsessed with carbohydrates. You must eat balanced meals with plenty of protein and unsaturated fats. Muscles become damaged during training and you need protein to help repair them. Good fats also have many health benefits and should not be ignored. Balance is the key to a successful marathon diet plan.

Food tends to become a bit of an obsession as your training progresses. This is fine as long as you don't eat too much at a time. Grazing is a very important part of your marathon training diet plan. Small regular meals, little and often is the way to go.

As the weeks and months of your training pass you will develop a nutrition pattern that suits your metabolism and your running. There is no particular right or wrong way to the perfect marathon diet plan, just a set of guidelines that will aid you in finding it. Follow these and you will find the fuel to power you through the many, many training runs that prepare you for your big day.

For more Diet information Click Here!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Marathon Training Plan

Steps to prevent running injuries. The following are a few preventative measures that will ensure that your marathon training plan is blighted by as little injury as possible.

Invest in your training kit. Worn out shoes or the wrong shoes can cause injuries, so you need to get these right. Go to a specialist running shop and have them analyze your running style or gait, and have them fit you out accordingly. Heart rate monitors are another important part of your kit. It will help you to train in the right training zone, which means you are not pushing yourself too hard. Set the alarm so that it sounds when you go outside the limits of your zone.

Hydration and proper nutrition. It is vital that you eat and drink well in order to maintain overall wellbeing during the course of your marathon training. You must stay hydrated and eat small but regular balanced meals consisting of carbohydrates, protein and unsaturated fats. As your training intensifies you must increase the amount of carbohydrate you consume to provide much needed running fuel. Without the right balance of food and drink you will become increasingly run down and more prone to illness and injury.

Ensure that you stretch. Be sure that after every run, you spend at least 10 to 15 minutes stretching using correct technique. This will help to improve your flexibility and help avoid damage to the muscles. Runners regularly suffer from tears to the hamstrings, quadriceps and calf muscles. This highlights the need for a warm up before, and a proper stretch after your run.

Massage. A good massage every few weeks can be of huge benefit to your muscles. It serves to improve blood flow and reduce tension, which makes the muscles more efficient.

Stick to your marathon training plan! Please do not deviate form your selected marathon training plan. These plans are designed to ensure that you progress gradually. Doing too much too soon and without the proper amount of rest can lead to serious running injuries. Ignore your marathon training plan at your peril.

Use the gym. Occasionally using the treadmill instead of pounding the streets can give your knees, hips and joints a bit of respite as the treadmill will have shock absorbing qualities. Resistance work, particularly work on your core will make you stronger, improve posture, thus minimizing the chances of picking up injuries due to bad form.

Consult a physiotherapist. As you really get stuck into your training, injuries of one kind or another are common. It is important to find a good physiotherapist to ensure that these injuries are treated quickly so as to minimize disruption to your marathon training plan.

Bear these guidelines in mind and you are well on your way to an enjoyable and injury free marathon experience.

For more info Click Here!