Registration for the Boston Marathon opened, and over 4,000 people signed up on the first day. However, there are still 22,000-time qualifiers available. And if you’ve been training for the New York City Marathon, which takes place in November, these following weeks will determine whether you push yourself to the next level. If you’re planning on a half-marathon or even 10k, read these long distance running tips to get the most of your training.
TRAIN: Run Four Times a Week
1. Run four times a week with varying intensities: Running four times a week with varying intensities is a solid baseline strategy for boosting your endurance and speed. One lengthy run at a moderate pace, one intense speed run, and two easy-effort runs, for example. You should cross-train in between running days to avoid injuries and improve your stamina, balance, and muscle strength. Pilates and yoga, as well as any conditioning and weight-bearing exercises, are excellent choices. One day a week should be set aside for active rest–that is, you shouldn’t overwork yourself but also shouldn’t be glued to your bed. On your rest day, a little walking, moving around, and completing chores will keep your energy levels up and going.
2. Hydration is essential: You should be drinking a lot more water now that you’re exercising and jogging around the clock. Your body can’t run if it isn’t adequately hydrated, so don’t wait until the last minute to hydrate before a lengthy run. For optimal energy later in the day, you should drink regularly throughout the day.
Schedule Meals & Snacks Properly
3. Eat at the right times: All of your hard work will be for naught if you don’t properly nourish your body. Make sure you time your meals right to get the most out of your runs. A run is best done 2.5-3 hours after a light lunch (about 500 calories); if your run is more than 4 hours after your meal, consume a little snack (100-180 calories) at least half an hour before your run. After your workout, take a modest protein-rich snack within an hour to allow your muscles to recuperate.
Eat Healthy & Take Supplements
4. Take your vitamins: Whole, unprocessed meals are the greatest and most natural method to get your nutrition. However, now that you’re pushing your body through hellish physical transformations week after week, it wants greater nutritional attention. Here are several nutrients to look out for, whether you consume more nutrient-dense meals or take supplements:
-Potassium– is a no-brainer; this electrolyte stops your muscles from cramping by balancing fluid levels. Potassium can also be found in Swiss chard, spinach, beans, and lentils, in addition to bananas.
-Magnesium– dubbed the “fifth but forgotten electrolyte,” this lonely-hearts mineral is begging you to pay attention. It is necessary not just for maintaining fluid levels but also for bone health. Pumpkin seeds, almonds, Brazil nuts, spinach, and Swiss chard are all good sources.
-Calcium– pounding the pavement for hours on end puts a lot of strain on your bones. Calcium is found in fortified soy or almond milk, broccoli, and tofu.
-Iron– when you’re exercising a lot, it’s crucial to keep an eye on your iron levels, so you don’t run into a wall. Dark greens, soybeans, and lentils can help you maintain your endurance.
-Vitamins B6 and B12– the B vitamins are essential for preventing anemia and supporting a healthy neurological system and red blood cells. Nutritional yeast is the simplest and (wonderful) method to obtain additional Bs in your diet. I also recommend seaweed (vitamin B12), avocado (vitamin B6), and potatoes (vitamin B6) (B6).
5. Stretching Is Important: Stretching is important for muscle recovery as well as minimizing fatigue and soreness the next day. Stretch out on a mat and try foam roller stretches after your run with dynamic arm and leg swings. Stretch your complete body, not just your legs: running works out your entire body, so pay attention to your ankles, feet, spine, hips, and neck. A cold bath or an ice pack might help to relieve inflammation and damage. If you don’t want to sit in a tub of freezing cold water, try soaking in a relaxing Epsom salt bath.
Have you been inspired yet? If you aren’t quite ready for a marathon but would like to begin running races, this is a wonderful place to start. Whatever you do, keep these 5 suggestions in mind, be safe, and most importantly, have fun!
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