Marathon mayhem: are you ready?

Marathon mayhem: are you ready?

Marathon season is upon us with the London Marathon taking place on 24th April 2016, and many smaller, localised marathons and half-marathons look set to flood our streets in the coming months. If you are a keen runner, or interested in taking up the sport, make sure you prepare yourself properly in order to get the most out of your run.

Forever’s Global F.I.T. Ambassador, Mike Butterworth, is no stranger to a marathon. He is a passionate runner who has taken part in many marathons over the years, including ultramarathons, which are further than the twenty-six miles of a standard marathon (and often over difficult and more extreme terrain).

Preparing properly is crucial when putting your body through intense exercise, particularly if you are new to the game, but the correct approach could help to prevent injury and enable you to achieve far more than you ever thought possible. Simply follow this guide and we bet you’ll be racing your way to that finish line in no time!

Take a run up

Start your marathon prep way in advance so that you can give yourself the best possible chance, but make sure you remain at a steady pace; training too hard too early will only wear you out. The same philosophy should also be applied to the actual run: make sure you start at a controlled pace that you can sustain throughout.

Remember to warm up

Warming up the muscles in your legs should be a central stage in your preparation as this will help to prevent any unnecessary strains from occurring. It is also important that you wind down by stretching after your run.

Stick to a plan

Following a rigid training plan is an effective way to prepare for a marathon, and there are plenty of plans in specialist magazines (or online) for you to choose from. It’s important that the plan you follow incorporates running at various different paces, but also plenty of rest and recovery days; these will give your body a chance to repair and strengthen itself.

Stay hydrated

It’s always worth quenching your thirst before starting a run so make sure you drink plenty of water mixed with your ARGI+ before you begin. If your long distance run is likely to take longer than two hours, you will need to avoid dehydration by ensuring you have access to plenty of fluids throughout the run. Most organised marathons will have their own aid stations as it’s not sensible to carry all your own fluids in a race. They usually offer specific electrolyte drinks from brands that are sponsoring the event as well as water. If you want to be thorough, it’s worth contacting the organisers in advance to find out who their sponsor is; this also means you can try any new products first during training.

Practice makes perfect

No one can be expected to run a marathon in good time without having undergone practice and preparation beforehand. It’s a good idea to aim for a realistic goal by first deciding what time frame you want to complete your marathon in. Time yourself each time you go on a practice run so that you can monitor how you are improving and you will soon see that practice does indeed make perfect!

Nutrition necessities

Fuelling up properly before a race is important but usually your regular diet is enough to see you through, particularly if you are running for less than two hours. It’s always important to eat a balanced diet with plenty of carbohydrate, fruit, veg and protein, but before a run you definitely want to concentrate on the carbs as this will provide you with slow-releasing energy. After your run it is essential that you provide your body with adequate protein as this will help to aid repair. Make sure you have some Forever Lite Ultra and a Forever Pro X2 Bar in your kit bag. You should also try including Forever Freedom in your diet in the months leading up to your race.

Forever focus

Negative thoughts before and during the race are likely to impact your performance so make sure you remain focused and think about the end goal. Having a positive mindset will definitely help you to excel so sometimes it’s helpful to see certain distances as mini achievements. As you pass certain mile checkpoints, congratulate yourself on your triumph – this will keep you in a positive frame of mind.

Key Forever products:

ARGI+ – pre-run

Forever ProX2 Bar – post-run

Forever Lite Ultra – post-run

Forever Freedom – Every morning in months leading up to run

Aloe MSM Gel – post-run

Cheddar Natural Spring Water – pre-run

Find out where your nearest marathon is at

Mike’s top tip:

“You can make an excellent sports drink from one litre of cooling boiled water, a pinch of salt and three tablespoons of Forever Bee Honey. Mix while warm the night before and refrigerate overnight.”