Saturday, October 22, 2011

Advice For Novice Marathoners by Arthur Lydiaird

When Arthur Lydiard speaks, everyone should listen, whether they are a novice runner or an experienced one. What follows is from an article he wrote sometime in the 70's. It was geared for the novice marathoner but I found things in it that were relevant for those of us who've been around for awhile. Anyway, sometimes we veterans need to be reminded of the basics. "Eat normal meals during race week. People who have been training thousands of miles have a greater ability to lift their blood-sugar levels than the untrained.You've been hearing alot about carbo-loading these days,take my advice,forget about the carbohydrate-loading and eat your normal meals. Don't overeat on race day. If you have eaten well the week before a race and lightened the training workload,you should not require very much food on the day of the race. If you are racing early, a light breakfast of cereal with some toast and honey,tea or coffee should be sufficient---and the less the better. On race day and the day before,do not eat foods that will form gas in your stomach. Gas can cause pain and cramps throughout the large intestine.

Wear clothing that fits well and that you are sure is comfortable. Many runners suffer discomfort wearing clothing that they have never been used during a marathon.You can run races of 10k or longer and never have problems with your clothing. But clothing can take on a new significance when you're running for up to 3 hours at a time. The wrong type of clothing can cause chafing,irritation and pain. It pays to try out your racing gear for as long a time as you intend to race.

Wear shoes that have been broken in. If you don't you will be heading for disaster.

Lace your shoes well. You shouldn't have to stop and lace them up during a race--still,I see runners doing it all the time.

Put your feet firmly into the backs of your shoes. If you don't do this when putting them on, you can create a small gap at the heel that will allow your foot to move slightly. This can cause blistering when running down hills,and can allow your feet to move forward enough to bruise toenails.

Do not overdo your warm up. Marathons should be run at a consistent pace. You should start at an easy pace well within your ability to go faster. Therefore,it is usually wise to warm up in the first few miles of the race. Wear enough clothing to keep your body warm prior to the start. Stretch a little and jog easily; not more than a few minutes at the most. Save all the energy you can--you'll need it.

Prepare your replenishment drinks for a hot race day. A balanced electrolyte at half strength is usually suggested. Be sure that it contains calcium,magnesium,and potassium to reduce the possibility of cramps.

Take a small drink just before the start. You will soon be perspiring, and this can act as a replacement until the first aid station is reached.However,do not drink too much before the race.

Drink throughout the race and do not wait until you think you need it. Consider the conditions on race day and make allowances. Toward the end of a marathon you cannot possibly replace liquids fast enough for your body's needs. Help yourself in the latter stages of the race by drinking early.Do not lift your knees too high in the beginning of the race. Be aware of your knee lift throughout the marathon; an exaggerated knee lift can tire the leg muscles and cause you to slow down near the end of the race. Keep an economical and relaxed stride throughout.

Control your early pace. Remember that races are usually lost or not completed by going too fast in the first five miles. If you go too fast too early,you'll have to pay for it. Try to save speed for the last five miles.

Sponge down continually on hot days. Keeping the body wet on a hot day is the best way to stop dehydration and the need to drink excessively. Carry a sponge and soak it in water at each aid station.Always jog for at least 30 minutes the day after a marathon.The stiffness resulting from running a marathon can be substantially reduced by an easy run the following day. Running for short periods of time will help your overall recovery."

Much of the above caused me to cringe as I recalled many of my early marathon screw-ups. I wish I had come across this article prior to starting my marathon racing.

No comments:

Post a Comment