Body Preparation for the Marathon Runner
Not Just About Running Faster or Further
It’s not just about running faster or further, but expert ACSM certified personal trainer Sylvain Cyr’s advice to the distance or marathon runner, is to include programs that train to protect the entire body from injury.
Marathon Runner Should Follow a Sleep Program
When preparing for a 26.2 mile race for 7 to 10 days before the marathon, a runner should follow a rigid sleep program providing 7-8 hours of sleep.
Cardiac Risk Factors
Heart — Marathon Runner should be cleared by their doctor before running a marathon. Due to intensity of a marathon any cardiac risk factors can be very dangerous. It is best to start running slow and gradually increasing speed to help the heart adapt to the work.
Loading Up on Bananas
Stomach — Drinking too much water decreases the serum sodium levels, which in turn can cause cells to swell. This is known as hyponatremia. The marathon runner can prevent Hyponatremiacan by loading up on high sodium foods, including bananas, which are packed with electrolytes or drinking sports drinks, 2 or 3 days before a marathon.
During a marathon run, it is best to drink approximately 1 cup of fluid every 20 minutes. If you feel to drink more, choose a sports drink that contains some salt. Hyponatremia can be fatal. Symptoms can include vomiting, headaches, loss of appetite, restlessness/fatigue, abnormal mental status, convulsions and muscle weakness. Immediate medical attention is required if you experience some or all of these conditions during or shortly after a marathon.
Hip — By incorporating yoga or Pilates into their routine, marathon runners can prevent pain, injuries and strengthen your hips. Strengthening their core, and increasing flexibility to their glutes, hip, and thigh muscles, marathon runners can help improve and eliminate their hip pain.
Stretch Hamstrings and IT Bands
Knee — A distance runner should strengthen their gluteus muscles by practicing side leg raises, to stabilize the pelvis and help support the knee. It is best to stretch hamstrings and IT bands for a minimum of 60 seconds each after every run. This allows the muscle fibers to remain stretched as you increase your distance.
Orthotics Can Help Prevent Injuries
Feet — Studies have shown that forcing specific foot postures can increase injury. It is best to select the shoe that is light, most comfortable and fits best. Orthotics can decrease the impact stresses and help prevent injuries.