It’s that time of the year again where we get together from all walks of life to support a worthy course at The Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon 2014 on the 26th of October. This year’s theme being ‘Wild about Vision’ is part of The Seeing is Believing program by Standard Chartered Bank who’s overall objective is to contributing to reduction of avoidable blindness in Kenya.
Running a marathon is a huge milestone. Before you embark on this noble course, you need to train diligently to get into the right shape to cross the marathon finish line safely and without injury. There is also that sense of accomplishment that one feels when crossing the finish lines while others strive to beat personal records set during previous marathons.
Here are a few tips as you get ready for the marathon:
• Get the right gear – It is vital to have the right pair of shoes and set of clothes for both training and the marathon. Comfortable running shoes are necessary to allow your feet the right movement and space when running to avoid injuring yourself or forming blisters. The right set of running clothes as well is important to allow your body to breathe and to keep the sweat off your body as you run.
• Choose the right training schedule – It’s important to take a safe and gradual approach when training depending on your physical fitness level in order to avoid physical and mental burnout. The right training schedule also prepares your body to handle the physical and mental stresses that arise from running a marathon.
• Have your doctor check you – If you have a medical condition such as heart disease or high blood pressure or you don not exercise as much, it might be a good idea to have your doctor do a complete physical check to ascertain that you are healthy enough to run the marathon.
• Eat right – Running a marathon requires that your body is healthy and in the right shape. It is important to focus on giving your body the right amount of nutrients to give it the energy and hydration necessary. A balanced diet should also be maintained and junk food should be avoided as much as possible. Also, don’t forget to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
• Get a running buddy or two – Join some runners who want to train together and find a good pace. This will help everyone stay motivated as you prepare for the marathon. This will also help boost your fitness level as you gradually prepare your body to adapt to long distance running.
• Find your pace – Avoid straining your body by running throughout the marathon. If you find it difficult to run continuously during the marathon, you can take a few minutes break. Take walking intervals between runs in order to find the right pace that your body can handle.
• Select the right marathon to run – There will be several marathon races available at The Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon from the 42Km full marathon to the 5Km family run. Each is tailored to suit everyone from the professional long distance runner to a family with kids and friends. Register online on http://www.nairobimarathon.com/for the specific races. You can also get the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon app for Windows and Android here
• Don’t forget to stretch – Stretching before and after running helps relax your muscles before running and lengthens the muscles that have tightened up after running. The important areas to target when stretching are the thigh muscles, calf muscles, the lower back, the neck and the arm muscles.
Make sure you get to the marathon start line early enough to allow you time to prepare before you start running, jogging or walking.