I have no idea how but it is almost been a month since my race! I have had a lot of time to think about the race, and my training now that I can walk again so wanted to share my thoughts and tips for anyone thinking of running a full marathon.
1 – Cross train, cross train and cross train.
My favourite place to cross-train, at My Rev!
So if I told you getting into a regular cross-training routine is what made me decide to run another full marathon would you believe me? Well that was how I bit the bullet to run my second full marathon after 6.5 years. For me, running 5-6 days a week was too hard mentally and physically but regular cross- training added the needed variety to my training schedule. This prevented burnout, again mentally and physically, and allowed me to enjoy my runs more.
Because spin is a low impact activity it also helped to prevent injuries from too much time running, in particular spin can strengthen related muscle groups which also helps to prevent injuries.
I noticed a huge difference in my cardio as well from spin classes. Even harder runs felt easier and during my race my cardio was noticeably better to thee point I never felt exhausted in the 42km.
2 – REST
I had 1-2 rest days a week. Two once my long runs got over 25km. These rest days were SO needed. During this training cycle I never really got burnt out and if I started to feel like I was, I would take a rest day. Before my mindset was this would hurt my overall training and race time but did it? Nope, I shaved 9 minutes off my marathon time. I read somewhere a great quote that said ” train smarter, not harder” which was my mentality while training.
3 – Don’t forget about your core
Again, before I focused all my training efforts on running which meant little to no time for anything else. I believe a good runner is also a balanced runner which is why I added in cross training as well as other workouts, specially core focused ones. I went to weekly yoga core classes as well as spin classes include core workouts. A strong core helps with stability and posture while running, this can go a long way and prevent common running injuries as there will be less strain on your muscles.
4 – Proper Nutrition
I will be the first to admit this was not perfect for me but I did give it attention during my 12 weeks of training. I made small changes, but all together they helped. What I did: added protein shakes after long runs/hard workouts, added collagen into my diet, increased my water intake, avoided alcohol (last 6 weeks of training), ate consistently – every 2-3 hours, and increased carbs the night before a long run.
We also kept our long run/race day fuels the same the entire training cycle so we knew what worked for us and did not set our bodies up for any surprises on race day!
I can honestly say that I had a great training cycle and fully intend to run more full marathons – no six year gap this time! But without really sitting down and thinking about what type of training was right for me I don’t think I would have had the same outcome. Again, “train smarter, not harder”.