1. Train in your competition outfit– Speaking from personal experience, no one likes nasty chafe or painful rubbing on race day. Coolmax or Nylon clothing that fits well will help to reduce fabric shear. Shoes need to worn in and well fitted, and proper running socks are a must. Brands like Injinji, Thorlo, Balega, and Wigwam are amongst my favourites
2. Find your shoes and plan your mileage – Finding the correct shoe for your running style is very important, and so is ensuring your feet are adjusted to the new shoes come race time. Planning your shoe changes throughout marathon season and making sure your race shoes are worn in is just as important as the training
3. Plan your season – Just like a car, your body needs regular servicesto run at it’s best. Everything from your footwear, orthotics and running style to your posture, sleep, diet, and training are key to a successful preparation. I recommend seeing your Podiatrist and Physiotherapist to prevent any problems before they ruin your training streak. Prevention is definitely better than cure!
4. Schedule your training – Try to avoid quickly increase your mileage. It is important to allow your bones, tendons and muscles time to repair and strengthen to the increased activity. The 10% rule should be applied when increasing activity- increase your weekly mileage by no more than 10% of the previous week
5. Practice drinking – Make sure you are comfortable drinking on the go and practice taking a hit from your gels or running aids. There is nothing worse than loosing your rhythm because you can’t breathe after inhaling citrus flavoured gel- again, talking from personal experience!
6. Recruit a friend/training partner – Research shows that having someone to train with will actually help you to commit to your training and will push you to train harder
7. Have fun – Make sure you schedule rest days and keep it fun by alternating your running routine to prevent burn out. Do a park run, or register for a fun run like colour run to keep training fun and not a chore.