Training – How and Why
Movers: Training is essential.
Stay safe - don’t leave it to the last minute.
If you’re not a seasoned veteran of long-distance running, then proper preparation is going to make the world of difference. It might even keep you alive.
! Action Required !
Start training now
Training for a full or half marathon can be daunting, and because it’s tough, it’s also easy to procrastinate by putting preparation off. Even if your overall fitness level is generally high, you should still do some basic long-distance training in order to get your body and mind used to the type of activity that you’ll be facing on race day.
Seek Professional Advice
Training is so important – we can’t emphasise that enough.
Both distances will put a lot of strain on your body, so it’s important to take marathon training seriously. You should seek some professional advice, and follow a training plan. Don’t risk injury by attempting 13.1 miles, or 26.2 miles, without it.
At On The Move, we’re not professionals, so we aren’t in a position to give you the advice you need to work out the most appropriate way to train for you. But we will try to point you in the direction of professional people that can genuinely help.
Although we do encourage you to read training advice online, we advise you to research it thoroughly, take everything with a pinch of salt, and remember that taking action is much harder than sitting behind a keyboard.
In any doubt?
If you are in any doubt about your ability to run the race on the day, we strongly advise you to stop. You must alert us if you’re struggling. However much impact your efforts as part of On The Move have made, your personal health is not worth risking – you always come first.
Get the all-clear
In order to make sure that you’re marathon fit, you should firstly seek advice from a GP. You may have a pre-existing health condition that would make it unwise to attempt a long-distance run.
Book an appointment with your local doctor to get a check-up. Tell them what you’re planning, when the marathon is, how far you want to run, and what you feel your general fitness level is like.
They’re the best people to help make sure you’re in the right place to start a training plan.
Create a training plan
Once you’ve received the all-clear from your GP, you should start by creating a great training plan.
This is an important step because it will help you increase your distance over time, without pushing yourself too hard or too fast.
There are lots of great training plans on line, but the Milton Keynes Marathon have plans for the half marathon and full marathon on their website, which can be found here: http://mkmarathon.com/training-and-advice/
Get appropriate footwear
It’s time to hit the shops for a good pair of running trainers.
If you don’t yet own a pair yet, or if you do but they’re suffering or a bit old, it’s probably time to find a new pair. Having a good pair of running trainers is so valuable, and they’re a worthy investment because you’ll be spending a lot of time in them. They’ll be carrying your stinky feet through your weeks of training and then delivering you to the finish line after an exhaustive race.
Try a sports shop like Up and Running (located near the, Central Milton Keynes Train Station) and speak to them about what you’re planning to undertake. They’ll be able to offer gait testing (a quick examination of how you walk and run) to make sure your running shoes support the rest of your body properly.
Buying a pair from a less professional-end shop is fine too, but you’ll be likely to purchase a more generic product that wont be specially fitted to your feet. That’s fine too, but it may have an impact on your overall performance, health and comfort levels.
Talk to a gym
If you’re a member of a local gym, then they’re a great place to seek advice on improving your performance, more rapidly increasing your fitness levels and reaching your goals. Most gyms will have staff that have a wealth of experience for you to draw upon, and they’ll be all too happy to share it with you if you let them know about your fundraising plan.
Gym staff can also be a great resource to find out more about nutrition. You’ll be able to have a considerable impact on your training progress if you combine some dietary sense.
If you don’t have a gym membership, and you want to join one, don’t worry. You can still get fit and train perfectly well without it. However, you don’t always need to be a gym member to seek advice there – if you pop down to a local gym (without a membership) and simply ask at reception to see if anyone would be willing to give you some advice, it’s likely that they’ll be accomodating. If not, some gyms offer a single-day rate that will give you access to their facilities for the day, and an opportunity to talk to the right staff.
There are lots of other options for this kind of advice too. Running clubs and running specific stores that have access to experts will also happily chat through your training plan to give advice on nutrition and clothing.
Training isn’t easy, especially at first. But as you progress it will get easier, and you’ll find that your ability to run longer and longer distances will improve.
Be good to yourself by not pushing your body too far, too fast, and try to stay focused on what you’re going to achieve rather than how tough the journey is to get there.
Playing a great playlist of uplifting tunes that you love on a portable music player willl give you a much needed boost when your energy is low. Eat will, stay properly hydrated and get a goodnight’s sleep at the end of each practice.
Above all else – please do take your preparation seriously.
A failure to prepare for a long-distance run can be highly dangerous – don’t risk it!
Okay! What’s next?
Got the all clear from the doctor? Built a basic training plan and sorted those awesome trainers yet? Good work! You’ve taken the all important first steps in your preparation for the Milton Keynes Marathon.
If you’re ready to step things up a gear, take a look at the info we’ve put together about running clubs. They’re a great opportunity to receive a confidence boost and train together with other postitive people.