"I don't have the time" is the most common excuse for individuals to stray from getting in shape. However, if one can find the determination necessary to achieve their goals, they can find the time to prioritise their health. Starting a new running habit doesn't need a lot of preparation; all it takes is a comfortable pair of shoes and a willingness to move a little or a lot, all at your own pace.
Rajat Khurana, Managing Director at ASICS India, a go-to brand for runners, lists down the primary Do's and Don'ts for every runner race to help them prepare for the marathon.
Start early. Mornings are the best time for a quick run. Listen to your body and give yourself ample time to warm up and get comfortable.
Eat no later than an hour before the start. You can't run without fuel but eating too close to start time will only cause cramps.
Have a hydration plan for long distance races. Once you are used to running shorter distances, it time to gear up to go distances of 10km or over, it's important to stay hydrated as you run. Decide if you prefer to run with a bottle or take drinks at the water stations ahead of time and incorporate that method into your training so you're ready for race day.
No to garbage miles. To curb running the 'garbage miles', the ideal weekly workout should be comprised of few days dedicated to weight training and the other days for the long run which will help the body recover from the rigorous regime while steadily building tremendous stamina.
Dress for the climate. Check out the weather forecast for the day and dress appropriately. Wear your tried and trusted gear - not something new.
Choose the right pair. Of course, if you're getting started in the winter months, you'll also need to think carefully about what to wear. Choose the shoes that give you maximum support and protection with every step to maintain comfortable running even over long distances.
Muscle training. It is very important to work on muscle training and the best way to do the same is to push yourself to the decade-old practice of running faster paces on an 800-metre track or even the treadmill in the gym. This exercise helps in building your body to not exhaust itself and motivates the runner to run with increased strides. And, a great way to end your long distances, is to push yourself to run faster in the last mile so that the legs get used to finishing the marathon at a higher intensity.
Focus on your performance, not your time. In a longer race, it can be useful to mentally divide up the course into manageable sections. This also works by running to points within views like lamp posts or street corners.
Relax. Try to do a mental check-over now and then during the race. Try to relax your hands and shoulders and your breathing.
Enjoy it. Instead of running on the day before the marathon, take the day to focus and relax. Spending too much time on your feet will only wear you out and hanging around all the pre-race excitement may raise your adrenaline levels and leave you exhausted by day's end. However, it may also be beneficial to enjoy a very slow, 20-minute run to shake out your legs and calm your nerves. If you do run, use the time to remind yourself that you have trained hard and that you are ready.
( With inputs from IANS )