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Published: Monday April 21, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Monday April 21, 2014 MYT 11:43:08 AM

10 ways to prepare for a marathon

MALAYSIANS have been hit by a healthy trend, one that has many changing their lifestyles.

Many Malaysians are now more enthusiastic about getting fit and healthy by joining a gym, going for boot camp or dancing it out with zumba and stretching with yoga.

Yet another form of exercise Malaysians have picked up is running, which is evident as we see countless running events organised yearly.

If you have just picked up running and will soon target to run a marathon, good on you!

Keep in mind though that running is not just about placing one foot in front of the other.

Metro Online Broadcast (MOB) speaks to Original Bootcamp and personal fitness instructor Faizal Ariff who, along with his wife, has travelled as far as Japan to run marathons.

He shares some of the important steps to take before taking part in a marathon.

1. Set achievable goals

First- time runners who are planning to run a marathon should train at a slow pace. Try running shorter distances before going farther. Slowly increase your pace as weeks go by. Achieving your small goals can help boost your confidence when running and motivate you to train consistently. Keep in mind that you should also challenge yourself by running on different terrains.

2. Focus on lower body strength 

Runners depend on their lower body strength when doing long distance running. In order to build lower body strength, perform exercises such as lunges, squats and hip exercises. For ways to do these exercise, watch the video demonstration by iSnapping this page.

3. Find motivation

Clocking a new time or running a longer distance than you did a week before are ways that motivate you to train. Between trainings, firsttime runners should participate in smaller running events as finishing a run will give you an idea of what a marathon feels like and also give you a sense of satisfaction for completing a run.

One other way that is sure to motivate you is to train with a friend. Having a running mate is good as
both of you can keep each other motivated. I am sure you would prefer to have someone to train and get excited with as you inch closer to the day of your run.

4. Download running apps 

Running apps help runners to clock the distance they have covered. Training alone without clocking distance and time will not motivate you to push yourself further. 

Try apps like Nike+ Running to motivate you to reach a new goal every time you run.

5. Gear up 

It is important for new runners to buy the right shoes . You do not want to be running in a marathon with the wrong shoes and end up injuring yourself. If you are unsure of what pair of shoes is right pair for you, go to the nearest sports shop and enquire. It is also important to wear dri- fit clothes to prevent sweat from holding you down while you run.

6. Eat right 

Many runners believe in carbohydrate loading before a run. However, this is not a good practice. Carbohydrate loading or better known as carbo loading will make you feel bloated and make it difficult for firs t- timers to run the next day. Runners should have a diet of healthy fats and protein for replenishing energy and supporting muscle function. The day of the run, Faizal advises new runners to eat a banana or yogurt, at mos t two hours before you run.

7. Prepare all items the night be fore 

Make sure you prepare all the running items that you need a day before the run such as your bib,shoes , socks , dri-fit clothes and if you need compression gear, then pack them too.

8. Cross train

When training for a marathon, it’s best to try other forms of exercise. This helps give your muscles and joints a break from running while you concentrate on building a greater balance of each muscle group in your body. Instead of running, schedule yours elf for swimming, cycling or even pilates .

9. Find time to re cover 

After a strenuous week of exercising, it is important to give your muscles and joints a break. Your body needs adequate res t so make sure you get s even to eight hours of sleep. Too much training with little rest will result in fatigue and may cause injuries when you train. To relax your muscles , you can also go for body mass ages or practice yoga.

10. Countdown 

Get excited! If it is your first time running a marathon, whether a half or full marathon, allocate plenty of time in advance before selecting a marathon. Do not s elect marathons that are a month away, as you would need more than a month to prepare mentally and physically before taking on the challenge of running marathons.

Special thanks to Faizal Ariff and Erny Marlina Mohsen.

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle, Health, Community, Central Region, Community Sports, marathon, running, healthy, original bootcamp, exercise, motivation, strength, faizal ariff

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