For most people, the London Marathon is on one of many ‘to do’ lists that we create during a life time. It is something that a lot of people aim for and consider it as a great achievement when completed – and it’s only right. Now that the ballot has been drawn and applicants know if they have been accepted or not it is time to start preparing for those 26 miles. Unfortunately, due to the race being in April all the hard training and miles need to be done in winter which is not always fun especially when it’s super chilly and/or you’re relatively new to running. Below are a few tips for your winter running.
Firstly, make sure that you have a programme to follow and small targets to aim for every week or month. Try and run with someone or maybe join a running group to help you stay motivated and reward yourself every now and again. Next step is to ensure you have the right clothing and footwear. The weather forecast might be reading 6 degrees celcius but remember that as soon as you start running your body temperature will rise, you start getting warmer and you also start sweating. You don’t want to be wearing too many clothes that you sweat so much that you then get the chills. Rather, invest in some good technical base layers, a wind jacket, gloves and head band or hat; remember that you lose most heat from your extremities. Hi-vis clothing is a great idea too for when you have to go running in the dark. Make sure that you also have a good pair of running shoes that are not only right for your running gait but if possible are waterproof or made from gore-tex.
Moreover, do not neglect your warm up. Not warming up before your run will only increase the chance of injury so do a few mobility exercises and dynamic stretches before going out on your run. When you then come back from your run change out of your sweaty clothes straight way and try and do a little bit of a warm down too. Hydration is another important aspect of running and just because you do not feel the need to drink as you do not feel hot during the day it is key that you drink plenty of fluids before and after your run. Apart from that adjust your diet as required by either increasing your calorie intake or adjusting your macros so that you have enough energy and fuel for our training and to recover well after your sessions.
Lastly, if the conditions are extremely bad and you cannot run outside, either go on the treadmill or else do some kind of cross training on the bike or rower and even circuit-based training. It is actually quite important that along with your running training you do partake in some other form of training such as strength training as this will prevent the chances of injuries by making your muscles and tendons stronger and making your more resistant to fatigue.