- Before you begin go get a check up – Sure, you can imagine yourself like a race horse, gliding across the fields, the wind in your hair and dust at your feet… but hold your horses for a little bit! If you are new to running, make sure you go get a physical assessment with your doctor. Get a clear picture of where your health and fitness levels are at before beginning anything very intensive. This also applies for those beginning to ramp up their running program and taking it to a whole new intensity level. If you are feeling any major discomfort it is always a good idea to go get checked out!
- Check those feet – When you have have been running for a while, make sure you take a look at what is happening on your feet i.e. assess the state of your shoes! Constant wear and tear leads to really bad support and cushioning and can really do a number of your feet and calf muscles, adding to further fatigue. This will affect your timings and schedule big time.
- Start smaller and then go big – New to running? It may be better to aim for smaller runs at first in order to become better at it. Start with a 5k , 10k, half marathon and so on. Keep getting better more acclimatised to it and then run your heart out at at a full marathon when you are ready.
- Start competing with yourself – Once you begin training, slowly start increasing the distances you cover as well as the frequency of your runs. Follow a good training schedule that works for you and adjust your training accordingly. Once you have been at it for a few weeks, some experts suggest that you should aim to start improving the time of your longest run. Start adding speed to the long distance you have covered and change your pace accordingly.
- Keep yourself hydrated – Any strong runner knows how very important it is to keep yourself drinking on a big run. Sports drinks and energy gel packs replenish you and are often packed with carbohydrates, electrolytes and the like and may be a better option during an intense race. It is a good idea to try them beforehand on trial runs to know whether it works for you and if you can stomach them. Carrying water is great too. Of course during race day do check whether and where they have refreshment stations so you don’t have to be weighed down by an extra load.
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