For avid runners, completing a marathon is the pinnacle achievement. Marathon finishers get both a personal benefit and bragging rights after crossing the finish line. The 0.5% of American citizens that actually run one take them very seriously. Runners must focus on rigorous pre-marathon training, in-marathon maintenance, and post-marathon recovery.
Improper training and recovery can lead to a high risk of injury. Runners must take steps to avoid injury in order to be successful. Mitigation techniques like working on the muscles with an Active Release Technique (ART) certified chiropractor, reduce the risk of serious injury.
Training For A Marathon
Runners need to make sure their bodies can handle the demands of a 26.2 mile run. Strength training is a very important part of building endurance. Continually training before the race makes sure your body doesn’t break down during the race. As the day of the race approaches, experienced runners will taper off the distance during training.
Training like this ensures that important chemicals and hormones lost during the training return to your muscles before the race. Don’t worry, though – muscle memory ensures that you will be able to cross the marathon finish line.
Before the race, a carb-rich meal is recommended. This will give your body the fuel it will need to push it to the finish line. Popular carb-rich dishes include pasta, bread, potatoes, or oatmeal.
While what you eat before the race matters, most people forget what you eat after is important too. Make sure that your meal is carb and protein heavy to refuel your muscles. Plus, eating vitamin-rich fruits and juices renews electrolytes and antioxidants. All of this ensures that you can perform at peak performance.
During the race, it is very important to make sure you’re drinking enough water. You should drink around 8 ounces every 2-3 miles, and take your time to refuel properly at rest stations. In addition, a healthy energy supplement during the first 5-10 miles allows you to keep going, with renewed energy.
You can also take collagen to help. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. Taking a collagen supplement will reduce joint pain and prevent muscle loss. Another great supplement is BCAA’s, or Branched Chain Amino Acids. These help with muscle recovery and improve the immune system.
After completing a marathon, you’re probably feeling the post-run euphoria rush. Don’t let that fool you into thinking there is nothing left to do. It’s important to take care of your body after a run if you want your body to properly recover.
Roll out immediately following a run. Taking around 15 minutes to do this alleviates some of the soreness and reduces the amount of swelling. Also consider an ice bath. After a run, a cold ice bath prevents swelling, constricts blood vessels, and flushes out waste.
An ice bath can be extremely uncomfortable. It requires you to stay in cold water for almost 20 minutes. Alternatively, Cryotherapy (which isn’t as extreme on the body) is a viable option. Cryotherapy submerges the body in -150 degree temperatures for only 3 minutes.
One of the most effective post run activities is an Active Release Technique treatment, which can be done at certain clinics. Treatments like this assess broken tissues and breaks up adhesions to improve circulation and movement. Another treatment includes compression therapy, which uses compressed air to release tension.
Pre-marathon training, in-marathon maintenance, and post-marathon recovery work together to make sure you perform at your best. Making sure your body is properly fueled, properly trained, and properly taken care of ensures that you don’t injure your self. Follow these tips and you’ll be one step closer to your next 26.2