A new trend that has emerged among the young and the old alike is taking part in marathons. Marathons are usually fun filled events that witness huge participation from people from all walks of life. But running in a marathon in not a walk in the park! One needs either professional training or at least some guidance to run in a marathon. You can get this guidance from the Ultra marathon Running Guide!
The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. But how does one get ready to take that very single step? How does one train oneself to complete or better, win a marathon? The answer to these questions lie in an Ultra Marathon Running Guide. The initial emphasis in an ultra marathon running guide is to build the requisite mental toughness to cope with the herculean task ahead. Knowing is half the battle. As already mentioned in other pages of this site, a marathon is a sporting event involving running distances longer than the traditional marathon length of 26.2188 miles. So we are looking at around 50 to 100 miles of marathon length. You don’t have to be crazy to run an ultra marathon you just have to be prepared. And preparation comes from good guidance. Ultra Marathon Running Guide provides this guidance.
The first hurdle is to remove the mental block of how daunting the task seems. Most people don’t complete the marathon not because they are incapable of doing it but because they are scared or under-estimate themselves. So lose any kind of inhibitions you might have and believe in yourself, and follow the ultra marathon running guide.
After your mind is made up that the task is not other worldly, the second important section of the ultra marathon running guide is physically preparing yourself. Remember the story of the hare and the tortoise? It is not so much about speed, or even distance, it is about the amount of time you spend on your feet. You have to accustom your body to run for a long time at a steady speed. It is not so much about being quick as it is about being consistent. Erratic running will tire the body quicker and make it more difficult to complete the marathon. Thus one must be consistent and not try to overpower his or her abilities. Prepare yourself by improving your stamina, muscle strength and aerobic capacity in order to run a marathon after all it is a physical activity and physical fitness does matter!
It would help if you can find accomplices or training partners with the same goal. This would instil a sense of competition and you would work harder on preparing yourself. The more experienced your training partners the more you benefit. Find a rhythm, a pace at which your body parts are synchronized perfectly and you waste the least amount of energy. You must also try to run on a terrain that you are going to race on. Facing a known rival is always easier than a mysterious one.
It would obviously be humanely impossible to dash the entire 50 miles or so of the race. You need to pace it effectively with long runs spiced with walking breaks. You must always be careful not to exhaust yourself of your stamina too early. Desperation and adrenaline may aid you in a hundred meter dash but for an ultra marathon you have to be a bit methodical about the proceedings. Also one must always remember to breathe from his or her nose while running and not from the mouth. This helps in keeping the stamina intact and thus makes the run an easy ride.
You must have backpack consisting of the necessary items to survive that you might need till the end of the race. It must have energy drinks so you can replenish the electrolytes lost during the process of the race. Other essentialities include energy bars, clean socks, alternative pair of shoes, sunscreen, Vaseline etc. But also do remember that you must keep in the mind the weight that you are carrying around with yourself. Too many things will slow you down and get you exhausted more quickly.
You must also be aware of how much time you are going to take to complete the race eventually. Add about two hours to the best time you take during training. It would help as when we are not sure about when we will reach our destinations we are likely to lose heart earlier. If we have in our mind the estimated time it is going to take to complete the race we would not be disheartened.
These are the essential checkpoints of an ultra marathon training guide. If followed religiously, your chances of emerging a victor on the day of the marathon would be greatly enhanced.
Running a marathon is a tough challenge no matter what age you are—teen, adult or senior. For those ready to master this tough arena, there are full marathons where runners complete 26.2 miles and half marathons that are 13.1 miles in length. No matter what type of marathon you want to take on, if you’re in your silver or golden years, you should consider marathon training for seniors. Does this type of training differ from other age groups? It can and depends on the trainer and the area where the marathon is set.
Training Is Essential
Every expert marathon runner will tell you if they skip training for some reason, they’ll skip the marathon as well. Trainers versed in marathon training for seniors and those of all ages will also tell you training isn’t all about running either. It’s about building endurance and strength and often getting to the point of euphoria most marathon runners feel near the end of the race—they’re tired but their will to continue is stronger.
The Best Training Has Limits
If you’re looking for the very best marathon training for seniors, you need to keep in mind the best training routine will have set limits on the amount of time you run and the amount of time you allow your body to rest.
Unless you’re Superman and that’s unlikely, a good marathon schedule for seniors is one that allows for running, resting and some cross-training. Finally, to ensure you succeed in your training and marathon quest, it may be prudent to hire a trainer who has experience in training runners of all ages, not just the young or beginners. If you do a Google search on marathon training schedules, you’ll find most websites and trainers recommend you’ll need at least 18 weeks of scheduled training that combines running and cross training.
Creating a Good Schedule
Marathon training for seniors does mean you need to allow for rest along with what types of training you do depending upon the week of training you’re in. If we consider there are 18 weeks of training you’ll need to complete, set a schedule such as the one below and try to stick with it to gain the best results.
Sundays and Thursdays – First off, let’s consider these as your rest days. Hydrate your body and eat a good marathon diet. Recommended diets include tons of veggies, fruits, milk and dairy products and lots of protein. Don’t forget fresh water fish such as salmon, which is a great choice and instead of peeling fruits and veggies, eat the skin for even more vitamins. Do this throughout your marathon training for senior’s schedule.
Mondays – Use every Monday throughout the training schedule for shorter runs. In the early weeks, try running only four to five miles and as the 18-week program progresses, add a mile until you are running eight to ten miles.
Tuesdays – This day should include strength training at a gym using appropriate equipment. You may also want to simply walk a few miles or swim. Don’t forget this part of marathon training for seniors must include stretching those muscles. Pilates is a good way to stretch and balance your inner core as well as extremity muscles.
Wednesday – Dedicate 100 percent of this training day to running. Much like your Mondays, you will want to start off with lower mile runs like six to eight, however, as the weeks progress, add more miles. Challenge yourself by running miles in a build-up venue. For example, you may start off at an easy pace but as the mile reached increases and the weeks increase, try running at full marathon pace. Stick to this every Wednesday and remember, marathon training for seniors means one comfortable pace may mean one thing for some and another for others.
Friday – Each of your Fridays should again be dedicated to stretching and strength building exercises—or working out at the gym. If Pilates isn’t your thing, consider an intense Yoga class for stretching. The more you keep those muscles stretched and strengthened—especially on Fridays, the more prepared you’ll be for Saturdays!
Saturdays – Ready for a real challenge? Even marathon training for seniors means a long-run day or mirroring at least a half marathon—a full is preferred, however. Make sure you stay hydrated throughout your run and stretch before and after.
If you follow this suggested marathon training schedule and eat the right foods, when it’s time for the actual run, you’ll be better prepared.
Running is more than just a sport. For some people running is a way of life. Running gets the blood pumping and the endorphins flowing, and in today’s overly stressed world running is a great stress reliever and confidence booster. But is there a better way to do it? How can we train better? Is there a better, more natural way to run? Hardly anybody considers that question until their muscles start aching, and let’s not forget those other running complications such as tendonitis and shin splints. Is the any way they can be avoided if we learn how to run differently? The Tarahumara running technique may just be the answer.
Who are the Tarahumara?
The Tarahumara people are a Native American tribe that inhabits much of the state of Chihuahua in north-western Mexico. The Tarahumara are particularly known for their athletic prowess. In fact, they are also called the Raramuri which means “those who run fast” in their native tongue. With highly dispersed settlements throughout the region these people developed a running tradition covering up to one hundred and twenty miles through rough canyon country. However the thing that’s unique about the Tarahumara is the Tarahumara running technique which uses the barefoot toe-strike method of running.
How can you better develop your running technique?
When we are children we run on our toes. It is only as we grow older that we train ourselves right into an unnatural style of running, one that is prone to more sport’s injuries, whereas running injuries such as tendonitis and shin splints among the Tarahumara are relatively non-existent. So how can we change our style of running and use the Tarahumara running technique to our advantage?
First of all, consider your running shoes. Many of today’s styles of running shoes are overly cushioned and motion controlling which can cause foot muscles to atrophy while stiffening the tendons. The solution to this problem is choosing shoes that are neutral, low-heeled, and comfortable. When your foot is allowed to move naturally the muscles become stronger, making you a better runner.
Next, try landing on the balls of your feet when you run. Traditionally, people are taught the heel-to-toe style of running. When you land on your heel you are applying greater force to your bones and cartilage which can be physically damaging after awhile. The Tarahumara running technique of landing on the forefoot acts like a shock absorber. You land on the balls of your feet and your legs are never completely stretched out and the force is absorbed by the active muscles like the calves which can become sore after the first few runs when you are just beginning this technique.
When most of us compete in races we tend to burst into a run at the beginning of a race and slow down as the race progresses. We believe that if we explode out from the starting block we can get ahead before slowing down to pace ourselves and conserve energy. That is not the Tarahumara running technique. The Tarahumara begin slowly with short easy strides that build in intensity. In so doing they maintain their energy levels and instead of finding the right pace to stay ahead of the race they set the pace for others to follow.
Tarahumara, like all good runners, use centrifugal force to propel themselves forward. The best runners whip their heels up – literally kicking their butts – to cycle their legs for the next stride. Such runners can move at great speeds.
The Tarahumara running technique uses the abdominal muscles for propulsion relaxing their legs as they run instead of putting maximum tension in them. In addition, the Tarahumara have a smoother stride. Whereas inefficient runners bounce up and down as they run – a good way to waste energy – the Tarahumara running technique eliminates the up and down vertical motion – conserving energy to carry them through for long distances. Indeed, the Tarahumara are champion runners when it comes to endurance.
How much has our over-reliance on technology – namely the vast amount of cushioning in our running shoes – cost us in running ability? Practicing the Tarahumara running technique may be able to spare us both injury and energy when running.