Self-coached marathon runner, Joe Cawley (Bray Runners) shares his top tips for marathon training and running. Often seen pounding the pavements of Wicklow Town, he recently ran the London Marathon with Paula Radcliffe in his sights.
Find the correct running shoes. To do this you may need to get your running gait checked. This will ensure you avoid injuries by choosing the right shoes.
- Running shoes don’t last forever. You will find they need changing every 500 miles or so. This is dependent on your running form and weight.
- Rotate running shoes. Older running shoes can be used for easy / recovery / shorter runs.
- Join a running club or group or arrange to meet up with other running friends especially for longer runs.
- Increase your weekly mileage by 10-15% max. Likewise increase your longer runs (17 -23 miles) by 2 miles approx. each time.
- Get used to taking gels on your long run. This will ensure that on marathon day your stomach is used to taking this type of fuel.
- Include a step back week in every 4. This allows your body to recover and prepare for the next phase.
- Try running some of your long runs solo as this builds up your character and makes you stronger mentally.
- Avoid listening to music on runs. You’d be surprised how interesting your runs become by the many sounds you would not hear otherwise. And it’s safer.
- Vary your running routes. This avoids boredom setting in by not running the same places each time.
- Avoid stretching before runs. Cold muscles don’t stretch very well. Stretch after sessions.
- Set a realistic time for your marathon. This will focus you to commit and stick to your training plan. Run some races (a 10k or half marathon) so you can estimate your goal.
- Stay well hydrated always.
- Milk – Probably THE best recovery drink. It contains everything your body needs after a run. And it’s okay to be a little bit bold after a hard / long session by adding in chocolate powder to it. You deserve it!
The Sports Room | Notes:
You can get your gait analysis checked at The Sports Room. We have a wide range of runners on offer from Mizuno, Asics, Nike, Saucony and New Balance. SiS gels also available. If you do like listening to music on your run, check out our AfterShokz – bone conducting headphones that allow you to listen to your sounds and what’s going on around you.