Posted by USN Ireland on October 3, 2014
First of all it is important to arm yourself with as much information about the event in which you are partaking as you possibly can. For example the Dublin and Clonakilty marathons are different animals and you can do all the flat training you like, but if you then discover that the course on which you’re running is hilly you may find that you haven’t quite got the uphill miles built up in your legs. This doesn’t mean that you should run a hilly marathon every week to train, but rather that you should introduce these elements to your regular training.
If you’re doing your first 10k, half marathon or marathon it is natural to become anxious about your performance. Firstly the goals you set for yourself must be realistic. The average finishing time for a marathon in America last year was roughly 4hrs 16 mins for men and 4hrs 41 mins for women; that ranges from the elite athletes who can finish in a little over 2hrs and walkers who can take 8+. So be sure to target a time that you genuinely and realistically feel you can reach and train accordingly.
As previously mentioned it is important to target and vary your training, doing the same 10k route on footpaths every day will be of far less benefit to you if the marathon is taking you through miles of country road, so change up intermittently and ensure that you are prepared for whatever conditions the race is likely to throw at you.
It is also important not to over train, as the marathon approaches begin to pull back on overall training time while maintaining the same level of intensity. On average reduce training time to 75% 3 weeks before, 50 % 2 weeks before and 25% the week before. This will ensure that you have the miles in your legs, but also that your body is properly rested and recovered, allowing you to perform to your best on race day.
With targeted training (ie pesky hills) and preparation you will find that you are more mentally prepared and better equipped to deal with anything that the race may throw at you and thus any anxiety you may have suffered otherwise will be dispelled.
The proper nutrition is key to any success in the lead up to and during any race or event. It’s important to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t, being prepared and having confidence in your supplementation can improve your performance drastically.
There are a number of USN products which will be of benefit to your preparations. R3 Excell contains a 3:1 blend of carbs and protein which greatly helps your post training recovery; ensuring that your muscle aren’t as sore over the next couple of days!
Vooma Gels can provide much needed carbs and electrolytes during a race which will increase endurance, fight against cramping and provide much needed hydration.
Before a race, sipping on Epic Pro will keep you hydrated and well fuelled in the time between the last pre-race meal and the start; you can then continue to take it every 15-20 minutes throughout the race to keep you fuelled throughout the race.
The main thing to take away from this article is that preparation is key; if you know that you have trained well and have the proper nutrition and supplementation you have nothing to fear and will find your goals much easier to achieve on race day, so best of luck (not that you’ll need it with USN in your corner!).