Dos and don’ts for running a marathon
BEFORE THE RUN
Ensure that a part of your longest run (full marathon – 32 to 38 km, half marathon – 21-24 km) has about 60-70 per cent distance being run at your goal/race pace. For example, if you intend to finish the half marathon in one hour 59 minutes, the goal pace is 5:40 per km.
Also, you need to get familiar with the running course so that you don’t get bothered with unexpected inclines. Practice your long runs with some inclines added so you know how much to slow down on such inclines on the day of the run.
A day before the marathon, it is recommended to stay off one’s feet, and drink a lot of fluids to stay well hydrated.
One also needs to ensure that you don’t skip food, nor go on any kind of diet just before the race. Taking meals that are high (65-75 per cent) in carbohydrates is recommended. There should also be adequate protein intake.
Lastly, mentally preparing for your race by visualising the course and your race plan is an integral part of the final preparation. A night before the big run, lay out your gear, have an early dinner and go to bed early.
On the big day, it is critical to take an easily digestible meal two hours prior to the race start time. Additionally, drinking adequate water to digest this meal is also important.
ON THE START LINE AND DURING THE RUN
Just before one starts running for the big race, it is important to do a light warm up. Also, sipping water every now and then until the start is recommended.
For the first half of your race in a half marathon, do not run faster than your goal pace as it might lead to cramps. If the sun isn’t being too nice, use a sponge to cool your head and back of the neck. Also, it is vital that one keeps sipping on water in order to avoid dehydration because once this sets in it becomes difficult for one to keep up to the goal pace.
AFTER THE RUN
On finishing the race no matter how tempted one is to sit down on the grass and stretch the muscles, don’t. This is because the muscles are inflamed and to ensure that one recovers fast, they need to move around to facilitate smooth blood circulation.
Having a meal which comprises carbohydrates and proteins as early as possible will replenish ones glycogen levels. The proteins will help in repairing the damaged tissue.
For quick post marathon recovery, getting a good night’s sleep, drinking lots of fluids throughout the day and eating food which is high in proteins and carbohydrates is the key to repair and refuel yourselves. Stretching and ice baths are other ways to boost one’s running recovery. This will help in increasing blood flow to the muscles while an ice bath will help in reducing post marathon soreness by reducing inflammation.
FOR THE LOVE OF RUNNING
Hi, my name is Kate Pakhomov, I am an expat living in Oman, born in Kazakhstan and raised in Australia. All countries inspired me to love and connect with nature and have lots of adventures. All my free time I’m spending it in marathon, triathlons and cycling challenges. Every Friday, I cycle on average 200km. I’m joining ub-cool team because they too are passionate about adventures and exploring our beautiful planet. I’m also running with the ub-cool for a great cause to help people suffering from epilepsy to overcome their illness and have the opportunity to enjoy adventures, travel and fitness like me.
Hi, my name is Ricardo Lucas. I’m an expat from Portugal and a father of 2, working as a security risk analyst in PDO, and ultramarathon runner in my free time. I have always loved running never stopped asking myself “why”? The toughest run is always the next run, but so far I did quite a few marathons and ultra marathons. Happy to join the ub-cool team for a good cause and raise epilepsy awareness.
Usama al Barwani
My name is Usama al Barwani, and I’m from Oman. My love of outdoor adventures started about 8 years ago when I scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in a record cold evening. I’ve also enjoyed whitewater rafting the Zambezi, and the many treks that Oman offers. I’ve recently picked up Kickboxing, and believe it is a phenomenal sport. I’m married to Medina, who used to suffer from epilepsy for many years, and have thus painfully seen first hand many seizures. I’ve always been enamoured by those who inspire us by achieving great adventures while suffering from difficult conditions, such as epilepsy. They have to scale greater obstacles, and dig deeper for strength. They inspire us to remember that nothing is impossible. The ub-cool challenge is about the strength to keep on fighting.
Fahad al Abri
Hi, my name is Fahad al Abri. I’m an athlete, and a personal trainer. I tried many sports throughout my journey: football – boxing – kickboxing – Gaelic football – and long distance running. Now I’m into Calithanis. I believe most of the physical challenges that we have are actually not physical, it’s all in our heads, within us. The desire to achieve and strive can overcome this. My biggest physical challenge was to win a match against South Africa, injured in the GAA world games championship. I’m passionate about sports, art, music and travelling. The reason I joined ub-cool is to inspire and support our cause all around the globe.