Author: Leandro Benda
With beautiful days slowly appearing this spring, here are some good opportunities to make the first grills, have a good meal on the terrace, make some excursions and... why not do some outdoor activity 😉
This little article shares a simple activity, considering that it just requires a pair of shoes and sport clothes adapted to the weather. You will have understood, we are going to talk about running. However, when we talk about marathons, it becomes a little more complex.
Exactly one year ago, I ran my first marathon, the one in Zurich. I'm doing it again this year, and I'll share with you the phases of initiation and preparation for this event.
First of all, I had to analyze the lessons learned from last year's race in order to understand where I could improve.
Last year I ran it in 4h38mn and this year the goal is to run it in 4h00mn. The lessons learned were as follows:
- Join an athletic club to benefit from a professional setting and expert advice
- Do more strengthening of the abdominal belt, quadriceps, and hamstrings to avoid pain in the final phase of the race -> get a specific program for this part from an expert coach
- Do a last long run of at least 25 km, 2 weeks before the race
- Respect a recovery period of 2 weeks before the race with light maintenance so as not to lose the efforts of past trainings
- Do regular sports massages, including one on D-2 to relax your muscles before the race
- Warm up for at least 40 minutes before the race to have warm muscles at the start and considering the effort required by the race
- Wear shoes adapted to the distance, body weight and with a good compromise between cushioning, support and rebound.
- Do speed training to better work the pace
- Put on sunscreen before the race (yes sir :))
Now, these points having been considered, it is of course important to take care of the initialization phase, for that I first asked a friend of the athletic club, expert in this field, to make me a training plan over 3 months based on this objective and in relation to my physical condition at this moment. With this program in place, we can move on to the planning phase.
The most important point in the planning was of course the registration on the event site. Around the race, the first point to plan was the accommodation, knowing that the race starts at 8:00 am and that the journey is 2 hours, the option of the night in a hotel was preferred. For transportation, since the train ride is free for participants, this option was the best.
On the nutritional aspect, knowing that we lose a lot of minerals during the effort, it is important to charge-up the body with these minerals before the race and to consume enough proteins after the trainings to support the regeneration of muscles.
As the muscles are an important risk factor for this objective, I opted for a frequency of 2 sports massages per month to avoid pain or tension on them.
Split speed training (e.g., 2 min sprint, followed by 30 sec rest, then 2 min sprint again, etc.) has been a good way to improve the pace, mixed with long runs, short runs, stretching, yoga (and of course rest) in the same week, has been a good mix for this preparation.
An essential part of the planning is also the preparation of the stuff for the trip, finally it makes 2 large bags counting:
- 2 t-shirts
- Training pants
- Insulating and windproof jacket
- Isotonic drink
- Gels for mineral refills during the race
- Sunscreen 😊
Here I am ready to face these 42.195km, let's see if I will manage to reach the goal set... What do you think ?
the continuation in the next episode.