Training for a successful marathon - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Training for a successful marathon

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By: Larry Studt, M.D., Occupational Health & Medicine Program, Sacred Heart and St. Joseph Hospitals

I took the plunge and began training for the upcoming Eau Claire marathon on May 5th.  This is only my second marathon, and I'm excited to get back in the marathon groove. (Although part of me is asking incredulously, "You did what?!")

I may not be a marathon expert, but I do know you need to train both physically and mentally for the big day. It can seem overwhelming to think about the miles of pavement you'll be pounding, so it's good to approach your training on a day-by-day basis. Don't think about the final mile total; just stay in the moment and concentrate on your goal for today. Doing so will give you a great sense of personal achievement and accomplishment.

Here are some training tips I've found helpful. Of course, it's important to check with your healthcare provider before starting any new form of exercise.

  • Follow a sensible training schedule to safely build endurance and attain peak performance.
  • Stretch every day, before AND after every workout. Stretching will improve your physical condition after a run, help to improve your stride, and prevent injury.
  • You may also want to do some strength training, which protects your joints from injury and keeps your body in balance.
  • Eating a balanced diet is needed to fuel your body for maximum endurance, optimal running performance, and fast recovery.  Be sure to consume the proper amount of protein, iron, carbohydrates, and water.
  • A marathon essential is good running shoes. Improper shoes can cause shin splints, knee and foot injuries, or hip problems. Be sure to go to your local running store and consult a running specialist to get fitted with a pair of shoes that's right for you.

Running is a great way to get into shape, relieve stress, and improve your health. If running a marathon isn't your goal, try some short runs to start. Once you feel the energy and invigoration that comes from a good run, you just may catch that marathon fever!

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