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Training for a Marathon

March 12, 2012 by Marc Faktor, Certified Exercise Physiologist

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Wanting to increase your activity, break boundaries and challenge yourself to improve your health, wellbeing and quality of life by embarking on a new adventure? Ever considered training for a marathon? I bet most of you have had the thought. Moreover, I bet only a small portion of people actually act upon these thoughts! What's missing? Is it resources, lack of fitness, insufficient education or just not enough time?For those of you who have been itching to try it out I would like to say, JUST DO IT! After all, if a 100 year old man can complete an entire Marathon I'm sure you have it in you to do so!

Here are some tips to assist you on your journey:

  • If starting out, your goal should be completion, not time!
  • Use tried tested and true strategies and source advice from experts, guides and mentors to fast track results.
    • The Physical Activity Line provides CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologists that can assist you on your journey for FREE! They are Canada's highest certified health and fitness practitioners. USE THEM!
  • Don't forget to warm up and cool down properly.
    • There is lots of debate on stretching before or after exercise. Nevertheless, this is what I recommend:
      • Do dynamic stretches before your workouts after a 2-3 minute aerobic warm up (this primes your muscles for the activity of interest).
      • Do static stretches after your workout (this facilitates recovery by allowing increased blood flow, nutrient delivery and waste removal).
  • Use intervals and fartlek training during your runs to adapt to longer distances.
  • Add variety to your workouts by including sports, yoga and dancing.
  • Be aware of the signs and symptoms of overtraining & ensure to incorporate rest days into your plan.
  • Do NOT neglect strength training!
    • One of the most common mistakes I see with avid runners is their lack of resistance training activities. These are needed to keep the muscles, bones and joints in top notch!
  • Ensure to practice flexibility and range of motion exercises daily.
  • Make your journey fun and interactive!
    • Log your runs and workouts!
      • Lots of awesome programs and apps (e.g. Map my run, Endomondo sports tracker, Live strong, FitDay, My Fitness Pal, The Physical Activity Line!)
  • Bring music to your ears!
    • Research shows this significantly improves workouts.
    • Engage your family and friends.

Don't forget to contact The Physical Activity Line to get started!

Happy Training!

Remember: Keep Positive, Keep Smiling, and KEEP MOVING!

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