5 important tips to abide by while training for a marathon

5 important tips to abide by while training for a marathon

Going the distance

Text: Janice Sim

In for the long run? These golden tips could be key to your success

Running a marathon isn't an easy feat. Whether you're a veteran participant or a novice runner, the same distance and risk of injuries apply to just about anyone. How to make sure you're adequately prepared? Well, besides investing in the right pair of trainers, it all boils down to your training. Here's where it can get a little tricky — the last thing you want is to undertrain and overtrain right before your race day.

Ahead of the Standard Chartered Marathon Women Squad (SCSM), national runner and physiotherapist at Ufit Clinic Mok Ying Rong, shares five valuable tips on how to train effectively and safely for a marathon.

1. Cross-train to complement your running

Running requires activating a specific group of muscles and joints, so cross-training can definitely help you improve your aerobic fitness. At the same time, it allows the specific group of muscles and joints to take a break. Activities such as HIIT, core work, and barre classes can aid in strenghtening your form before the big day.

Tips for training for a marathon

2. Hydrate adequately before training and races

A poorly hydrated body is never ideal especially when your body is working hard. However, excessive water consumption can also be a bad thing — resulting in dilute sodium concentration, which can cause cramping, nausea, and even seizures and comas. Sports drinks that are laden with sodium and potassium are always a good choice to boost heat tolerance, especially while training in a hot and humid climate like Singapore.

3. Get enough rest even as you ramp up your mileage

Getting enough rest is just as important as running that extra mile. This could put you at a risk of overtraining and suffering from mental and physical fatigue before the race day itself.  

4. Avoid running on cambered paths

Cambered paths are also known as side-sloped surfaces. Running perpendicular to the slope can result in muscular imbalances and tightness over a prolonged period of time. When training for a marathon, it is important to practise on similar terrain as the official route — this allows the body to get accustomed to the rigours of the race day.

5. Run in the opposite direction

For runners who train on the track, run in the opposite direction for every round you run. This helps to prevent muscular imbalances that can arise if you repetitively run in the same direction. For instance, run in an anti-clockwise direction for the warm-up and cool-down, while running in a clockwise direction for the main workout. 

Tips for training for a marathon

The Standard Chartered Marathon Women Squad will take place on 3 December. Sign up for the race here.