For those of you training for a spring marathon, March equals miles. It will most likely be your highest mileage month with the long Sunday runs steadily increasing to peak distance. This is the time to do all you can to keep the wheels on and yourself healthy and injury free until the big day. Pounding out the miles and ticking off sessions isn’t the only way to do this. Here are some of the key factors I have learnt over the years.
We know pre and post workout fuel is fairly crucial when it comes to performance but it can be hard to stay on top of it once your mileage creeps up. You’ll need more calories but it’s important to remember that not all calories are created equal. Carbohydrates are needed to keep you going, and for recovery. That doesn’t mean that you should reach for the biscuits, cakes or sweets. Aim to eat whole foods and natural ingredients and steer clear of the processed foods.
Getting quality shut eye has been proven to correlate directly to your running performance. If you’re struggling to achieve enough sleep, speak to me for some tricks to help you.
To prevent any niggles becoming injuries at the crucial stage, it’s important you put a little time into staying strong and mile-proofing your body. Core work and strengthening exercises will help to stave off those injuries and they’ll only take a few minutes of your day.
You’re tired, you’re short on time – I know. I used to ignore stretching. However, I also used to suffer with injuries. You are more likely to drop stretching from your routine than the runs themselves. All of my running training plans come with strengthening and stretching exercises to help to keep you running.
Progress and pacing
If you’re really struggling to stick to your training schedule or not seeing the improvements you’d hoped for, it can be hard to stay motivated. But there may be a reason you’re struggling. Are you eating enough of the right foods? Are you getting the right rest and recovery? Are you running at the right pace for both your ability and your target (and do these two match – a lot of people pluck a finish time out of the air without being realistic that it is achievable)?
When you feel stale it is a good time to re-evaluate your training plan. Does it work for you? Remember that it is YOUR training plan and sometimes the plans you take from the internet or a book simply do not work for you.
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Personal Trainer & Running Coach Leicestershire