Lessons from my last marathon

Jamaica Gleaner - - HEALTH&FITNESS -

I’M BAAAAACK – back to life and back to re­al­ity. Last week­end, five mem­bers of Sonic Step­pers Run­ning Club and I braved the cold and rain to con­quer the Sco­tia­bank Toronto Wa­ter­front Marathon, and trust me, it was a real trek!

It was also ex­tremely eye-open­ing. It taught me so many lessons that I want to share with you to­day, so that you not only get the best re­sults on your first or next marathon, but also learn a few things we can adopt in the Ja­maican con­text as well. Least to say, I ended up in the hospi­tal. So, here goes: These are my top five lessons learnt.

1. Stay hy­drated AL­WAYS

One of the first ques­tions the doc­tor asked me as I lay un­der the IV was, “Did you hy­drate be­fore the race?” I blushed and hur­riedly said “No”. It’s some­thing I know I should have never taken for granted as a run­ner.

The trick about a long-dis­tance run is that it puts your body un­der se­vere pres­sure. It typ­i­cally takes any­where be­tween two (for elite run­ners) to six hours for a run­ner to com­plete a marathon. What this means is that the body needs higher than nor­mal lev­els of hy­dra­tion – be­fore, dur­ing and post-race. Elec­trolytes are lost and the pure pres­sure on the body re­quires spe­cific care and at­ten­tion. En­sure that as you pre­pare for your first or next marathon, that hy­dra­tion is a key as­pect of your rou­tine. 2. Train­ing sched­ule En­sure that you have a com­pre­hen­sive train­ing sched­ule. Here’s why this is im­por­tant: the body needs to shift its fo­cus from one of mere run­ning (your typ­i­cal 5k/10k) to the most chal­leng­ing run of your life. It’s about en­durance and push­ing past your per­ceived lim­i­ta­tions. This must be done sys­tem­at­i­cally, reg­u­larly, and it has to be shifted ev­ery so of­ten. The aim is to in­ter­twine cross-fit and mus­cle-build­ing ex­er­cises into your rou­tine, so that your en­tire body is ready. I sug­gest

Pa­trice White be­fore the marathon.

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