Go Run, Run, Runaway, Baby !
You might just be surprised with the number of Marathons that happen each year and it is only catching momentum. Now is when the cycle starts- a new year, new resolutions to be fit and marathons to help you do just that. With the Pinkathon having concluded in December, it’s time for Marathon runners to gear up. For those who are sincere runners, marathon is an elaborate process that requires lots of preparations. Just so you have the perfect marathon experience and are extremely well prepared, we compiled all the information that answer your various questions and prep information that you need to know you get your body ready to shine on the track.
Which Marathons in India Should You Look Out For?
Some of the very popular marathons in India are the Standard Chartered Bank marathon, IDBI marathon, Ladakh Marathon, Kaveri Trail Marathon, Auroville Marathon, Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, SBI Bengaluru Marathon and the ones in Goa and Kolkata among many others. However, irrespective of when they take place, the rules and the preps remain more or less the same.
Tech You Need During Marathons
- Sports Watches and devices like the new Fitbit Force or Nike Fuelband monitor your activity and keep a track of all the data surrounding distance, track steps, calories burned, pace and a million other things. You can also make use of the heart rate monitor that tracks your heart rate and pulse. These devices sync in with your phone so you can view the stats on your phone.
- Tracking Apps like Map My Run, RunKeeper among many others track all your activity. You can graph your progress using features that provide different plans for runners skilled differently telling you what to do on a daily basis.
- GPS technology is best used during marathons to map your route and spot the nearest pitstops. It also helps you navigate through your run better.
Tech Around the Right Foot Gear
- We cannot emphasize how essential having good quality running shoes is. It’s best to invest enough time to visit a shoe store and figure out which size, brand and fit works for you with the help of an expert. Choose lightweight options that are also comfortable to wear for hours at a stretch. If you bought a new pair of shoes that aren’t your regular training shoes, wear them on at least at marathon pace so as to get your feet comfortable with them and bring about some wear and tear. Nike Zoom Structure+ 17s, Nike LunarGlide+ 3 Women’s Running Shoe, Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 3 GTX Sneakers are some options. These lightweight sneakers also boast a Gore-Tex membrane for extra durability keeping your feet dry and comfortable even in dismal conditions.
- If you thought the other way, then you’re wrong because your running socks are just as important as your shoes. And while you’re at it, also make a note that cotton socks are not the best option because they retain moisture and can cause blisters. Running socks are contoured to your foot to eliminate irritating seams and suck away moisture.
- Making use of insoles is a good idea as it prevents injuries and help in shock absorption by stabilizing your foot because we all know that running for so long can get hard on your knees and joints.
How Does Your Hydration Cycle Work?
Fluid consumption is a subjective behaviour that might vary for different individuals depending on their personal physiological demands, metabolism, heat levels and fitness. An improvement in your fitness regime and routine increases the rate at which your body processes energy. However, with that come increased energy expenditure and a whole list of things you need to follow to keep yourself hydrated for your muscles to function at a higher level.Water or fluid consumption is an activity that might not be as highlighted because it might not seem as important, but the truth is that it needs watchful regulation. To prevent it, it is necessary that we increase our fluids. While you’re working out, you may feel the need to consume more water than you actually need to and that’s how you end up over consuming which might cause potential threat to the stomach while dehydration (caused due to underconsumption of fluids) is a performance killer.Rehydrating (for example sipping seven to ten ounces of fluid every 10 to 20 minutes during workouts keeps one hydrated) is a must because our body experiences fluid and electrolyte loss during workouts as we sweat. In order to replace the lost electrolytes, runners must resort to not just relying on water, but also look at other options like sports drinks or electrolyte-enhanced water as a source of energy especially when you’re doing intense exercises or exercising for longer than an hour. However, don’t assume that your role to monitor your hydration stops as soon as your workout is over because it can totally spiral down unless you keep following up.
How To Stay Hydrated?
- The easiest way to keep yourself hydrated is by keep a handy supply of water with you at all times. That can either be through a handheld water bottle (which might be inconvenient to hold at all times) or a Hydration Pack, which is like a water bag with a tube attached for easy consumption of water. However, the weight of the bag is so much that it might get difficult to carry and run
- Sports drinks like Powerade Ion 4 Powerbar Endurance Gatorade Endurance Accelerade Hydro are one of the most useful energisers for runners as they are meant to boost your energy, rapidly replace fluids and increase the sugar circulation in the bloodstream
- You can also consume something known as Fitness waters which fall somewhere between plain water and EXPLORE sports drinks. Fitness waters such as Propel are flavoured waters with added vitamins and minerals
- Acting as pre-race fuels are Energy Bits, algae which are 64% protein and 100% a natural food. It’s best to take it sometime before the workout and then an hour into the workout. You can also plan your Energy bit intake in accordance with energy gels to maximize your energy output.
What Are Energy Gels And All You Need To Know About Then
Energy gels are great tools for runners who wish to increase their energy supplies and be energetic throughout the run. These gels work in tandem with your water consumption activities and make sure you are energised and hydrated throughout. Energy gels function to restore carbohydrates that get depleted when running. Although, the rate at which each runner absorbs and processes carbohydrates to show effects can be different ranging from three minutes up to 15 minutes. This variation in absorption rate has to do with how efficient your stomach is at digesting carbohydrate and the type of carbohydrate you’re consuming. Energy gels are essentially simple sugars that get absorbed into the bloodstream as glucose and stay there until absorbed by the working muscles. However, not all the glycogen we insert into the body gets absorbed into the muscles as it all has to be digested first before making its way into the muscles; some also gets stored in the liver. Hence, the amount of glycogen that is digested by an individual totally depends on that individual’s digestive capacity.How you should be consuming your energy gels needs to be planned. In order to digest the gel more readily, especially follow a set pattern in which you take the gels during the training regimes as well so it translates into your default system during the run. The ideal thing to do is to wait for 45-60 minutes between gels before taking another one so you don’t end up injecting too much simple sugar into your bloodstream at once. However, the catch with energy gels is that you should always consume them with water without which you risk supplying more sugar into your bloodstream than it would be able to digest thus taking longer than usual. Also, note that if you take an energy gel with a sports drink, you run consuming too much sugar at once.
Which Energy Gels To Use?
Clif Shot have organic options available, Gu Energy Gel have duel fuels as well as a blend of amino acids and Gu Roctane that too contains dual fuels and as Gu suggests, will “support recovery by helping block the catabolic effects of various hormones that cause muscle trauma.” Hammer Gel is a gluten-free, vegan option for runners who are limited in the amount of sugar they can consume at one time. Honey Stinger Gels Classic / Organic Classic gels containing vitamin B, PowerBar Performance Energy Gel increasing consumption for more fuel to keep your system energized and PowerBar Performance Energy Blend, a fruit puree-based gel with vitamins are some of the mighty popular and recommended energy gels. In addition to these, Vuma, Huma, Torq, CNP and High5 are some other popular options.
Some More Tech and Tricks? Sure.
- How you’re feeling on the main day is going to depend a lot on what you’re going to be wearing. Getting yourself real running clothes made of fabrics like polyester, Coolmax or nylon will keep you dry as opposed to cotton clothes that you should avoid at all costs
- Consume marathon must-have foods like Bananas, Raisins, Bagel and peanut butter, Berries, energy bars and low-fat yogurt during your training period. Make sure you include abundance of carbs in your diet 3 days prior to your marathon and start the D-day with a heavy, carbohydrate rich breakfast carbohydrates that will keep you refuelled
- Clothes sticking to your body because of sweat a common happening that can be very annoying. To avoid that, generally apply the Body Glide Anti-Chafing Stick before the run which easily lasts at least 90 minutes
- It’s a given that your feet are going to need a lot of pampering after run, especially the troubled spots. Using a Foam Roller, which is a 1-2 feet long roll, and placing it under the troubled area for 10 to 15 seconds will provide relief
- It’s understandable if you have to carry a thousand little things on the main day that are important personal belongings like your driver’s license, cell phone or emergency cash. Storage Belts are perfect to stash these things to keep them hands on. In addition to these, it is also advisable to keep ginger chews, salt tabs, advil and a small energy bar at all times for emergency use
- No matter what the season is, apply sunscreen for protection against the sun so you don’t look like a tanned mess after the run
- To set your body rhythm as per the timings of the marathon, follow the same routine before the main day. That will including running and training at the same time, eating and even taking bathrooms at the same time if possible
You Should Keep This In Mind
- On the day, do not experiment with your meals. It is safe to stick to what you have been eating as your body is used to that food cycle and type
- Make sure you have a good night’s sleep two nights before the marathon so that even if you don’t sleep well enough the night before, you’re still good to go
- Don’t wait until morning to gather your stuff. Make sure you pack all you’d need the night before in a nice sturdy bag
- Spare a couple minutes in the morning to warm up exercises like jogging, walking and stretching
- Be smart and conserve your energy that would last longer rather than use it all out in the beginning and then run out of it in the remaining part of the marathon.
- Keep walking swiftly even after finishing for about 5-10 minutes to let your legs cool down
- Attend to sore spots with ice to fetch quicker results
- You might feel hungry right after the race and that is normal. However, do not jump on heavy to digest carb rich foods but rather opt for lighter proteins to start off with