Here are some marathon training mistakes you may be committing and how to avoid them. Marathon training time is precious – make the most out of your training schedule! Here are 5 common marathon training mistakes and how to avoid them.
#1 Targeting An Arbitrary Goal
You should be targeting a time that corresponds to your current fitness and training. Don’t just pick a number out of the sky! All too often, runners just pick a goal, a random goal – a sub4, a sub330 or even a sub3. We need to be targeting a goal that is realistic. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Targeting way beyond your capabilities also invites the risk of an injury. Instead, target a timing based on your recent race timings. I mean if you can’t run a sub 2 half marathon, how realistic is a sub 4 marathon?
#2 Neglecting To Practise Race Day Nutrition During Training
Neglecting to determine your refuelling strategy can cause gastrointestinal problems, cramps and hitting the wall. Your need to nail your nutrition strategy. You need to know which km you are going to take gel, how many gels in total, and when to rehydrate. Think of everything and test them out during training. Tweak changes to what suits you best, and mimic them as closely as possible during Raceday.
#3 Panicking After A Bad Workout
You have a bad day. You had a bad workout. You start to question your training and fitness. You question whether you are working hard enough. You try to run harder the next day to make up for your bad day. However what you should do is just to let it go. Everyone has their bad days. Instead take a more critical approach. Think why you had a bad day! Think what you could possibly be lacking in training and work on it. Is it that you’ve had not enough long runs? Or not enough strength workouts?
#4 Neglecting Recovery
Training for a marathon, your mileage would most likely increase. This means you would need to focus on your calorie intake for recovery as well. Your body requires sufficient fuel and nutrients to recover. If you’re not providing your body with proper fuel, your body struggles to recover in between workouts. You will start to lack energy for training. Eat more protein such as lean meat, eggs and beans to ensure optimal recovery.
#5 Not Practicing Pacing
Pace yourself, and pace yourself well – this is one of the most important techniques in marathon running. Running too fast in the first half can result in a disastrous second half. You will suffer. Try to run your marathon as even pace as possible. This is difficult. With the adrenaline rush and all. But marathon running is a game of patience. Practise your pacing during your training. Know your goal marathon pace, and practise this pace religiously in training.