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As the FLM approaches, some thoughts on carrying injuries/niggles and race tapering.

Some niggles and injuries are probably inveitable when undertaking the training necessary to run 26.2 miles, but it is important to manage and overcome them effectively so that they do not have an affect on race day. With common complaints like shin splints, tight calfs and hamtsrings, sore knees and ankles, a new pair of trainers, running on softer surfaces and a slight reduction in the volume of training can mean one is able to carry on training, but obviously if the pain is acute then a number of days off will be necessary. Having a massage is a great way to prevent injuries as well as to help your legs feel better from the rigours of training, and even if it is not possible to have one weekly, then one or two a month will still help

Running a marathon in April means that the bulk of training is done in the depths of winter, and personally I become pretty susceptible to the cold and viruses that often go around. Training through these is almost always a mistake, and it is so much better to take 3 or so days off or at least very easy to give your body a chance of fighting back. If you have just a head cold then you're probably ok to carry on training but if it has spread to your chest then some time off is best.
 

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Thanks Dan,

All good information - especially for a complete novice like myself.

I've applied for the FLM 2007, hopefully ill be successful, so i'm currently training.

Ive not done any running before, and used to have a 40 a day habit, coupled with a love of lager!

After 3 weeks training im now able to run 2.5 miles in about 40 mins, so hopefully i'm on track with the training.

However i have noticed that my right calf and shin is aching, more than 4 days after my last run, and after a massage - im going to invest in a good quality pair of running shoes - at the moment im just training in a pair of normal trainers.

Joe
 

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Joe

A proper pair of running is more important than any massage. Infact, they are the most important thing for any runner. Go to your local running shop and get some good advise.
Good luck with the training, I hope you make it for the FLM
.
 

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Cheers Dale. Much appreciated advice there.

The training is coming along much better. My lungs are on the steady road to recovery from all the smoking, not had any temptation to return to them.

Going shopping tomorrow to invest in some good quality kit at long last. Couldnt afford to get any before due to other financial commitments. Now they're taken care of... its time to give my legs the shoes they're crying out for....

Been increasing my distance and time on feet steadily thoughout the last month, together with other training too.. weights, cycling, swimming...

I hope i make it to FLM too.
 

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Hi Joe,

All the best for the FLM, I hope to do it in 2007 and would love to hear your account of the big day. How far are you currently running at the moment?

Hope the training goes ok
 

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I've entered too.
I've heard that today is the day you'll know if you are in as those that are in will have their cheques cashed. Not sure if that's true but....
 

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Good advice, Dan - please do post tips like this occasionally (not that I'll listen to you if I am injured but...)

Also... for anyone thinking about FLM or another spring marathon - this was the advice I wrote down from a talk by Sonia O Sullivan once - she said very similar things about training on soft ground, not running on injuries, eating fruit to avoid colds, etc:



Notes from a pre-marathon talk given by Sonia O'Sullivan.
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Went to Sonia's talk one night in 2004... she was very entertaining with stories like:

- how she started running

- her secret "naughty" thoughts when she came fourth in the 1992 Olympics

- taking the drug testers to the bookshop in Kingston

- the most brutally competitive race ever - school sport's day mum's race - and it sounded like she lost it!

- why she only ever ate Sushi once.

- her first marathon - happened by accident - she found out 7 days before the run that she was going to be in Dublin the day of the race, thought "why not?", called up her coach who said "well if you're going to race it then you should probably do a long run tomorrow", then didn't actually ask the organisers until the night before... so a total of 7 days of training (including taper) - and there was a problem with her flight to Dublin from Cork (I think) so her meal the night before the race was whatever she could get in the airport cafe with an Aer Lingus voucher....

- It sounds like Sonia "hit the wall" in Dublin The last 6.2 miles were hard and the last 3 were "the hardest ever".

- On drinking alcohol - how she had her final glass of wine for the year last Friday - and then (after pressure from friends) had her other final last glass of wine for the year last Saturday

On to her hints:

1. Eating - food is so important - practice your race build up for you long runs this week!

2. It's not just carbohydrates that matter - actually complex carbohydrates are better for slow release of energy. So things like brown rice and porridge are better than white rice and normal pasta.

3. She loves her coffee (she mentioned Starbucks) but green tea is her drink in training.

4. She's heard a coffee just before the race can help boost performance - but to maximise its effect, cut out the coffee during the build up.

5. If you're running an hour or less in training then you don't really need to carry your water bottle.

6. If you're drinking sports drinks then you should try to dilute them to half strength - they are generally too sugary - you definitely should practice drinking them before the race...

7. If it's a cold day then drinking liquid straight down can cause stomach cramps - try warming it up in your mouth before you swallow...

8. Wearing gloves can really help (even if it looks odd with a t-shirt or vest on) - you can always throw the gloves away if you get too hot. If gloves are too expensive to throw away then try wearing old socks instead - they make excellent mittens!

9. Take an old t-shirt or top to wear at the start - one you can simply throw away when you need to.

10. In colder weather she's found a Nike fleece sweatband really helps keep her head warm.

11. She does some cross-training - especially when she's injured or pregnant - mainly some sessions on cross-trainer (or her ski machine), some weights and some swimming. She said her gymn routine changes all the time.

12. She does most of her training on soft ground - so the grass of Richmond Park, Bushy Park and Home Park are some of her training grounds - in Richmond Park she uses the old trails nearer the walls. There are lots of advantages to this - and she learnt the hard way getting stress fractures when she was younger.

13. When training for the 2002 NY marathon one of her mistakes was not doing any training on roads - and the NY concrete surface came as a painful shock on the day...

14. Her current pre-run stretching routine involves a jog first (no point in stretching cold muscles), then she does "active isolated stretching" - which involves repeating lots of short stretches - so 8 sets of 6-10 second stretches.

15. For stretching and for gym exercise it's important to get someone who knows what they're doing to watch you sometimes to make sure you are doing the exercise correctly - especially the slower exercises.

16. An ice bath after every run is very important! If she does 2 runs in a day then she does 2 ice baths in a day. She was very clear that she was doing ice baths long before Paula was! Some tips on the ice bath:

- You have to spend at least 10 minutes in the bath.

- The water has to be colder than tap water.

- Txt'ing is a great way to take your mind off the cold water.

17. For tapering, start 3 weeks before the marathon, keep your same training pattern (don't try extra speedwork) and just reduce the mileage by 10% and then 25% [sorry - didn't get the numbers down right her, did I?]. You can also eat a little less as you're running less...

18. Don't wear new shoes or socks in the race! Generally, Sonia wears shoes out about every 400 miles - and she normally has 2 pairs of shoes on the go at any one time - always different types as this helps strengthen her joints and prevents overuse injuries.


19. The day before the race, she tends to eat more at lunch than at dinner - but (obviously) you'll have practised this before the day!


20. When the going gets tough in the marathon, she tries to break the remaining race into shorter pieces and relates these distances back to her normal shorter runs - so with 6 miles to go she'll think about it in terms of just being 2 of one her Bushy Park runs.


21. Sleeping the night before isn't alwasy easy... A good book can help - but reading something like RW magazine is a very bad idea! Some people go to a movie and find that helps...


22. After the race, beer shandy is supposed to be a really good drink to help you recover.


23. Massage and stretching really help recovery too (and help in normal training). Swimming also helps and she's heard Yoga is excellent too.


24. When something feels sore, she stops training - she's learnt about training on injuries the hard way...


25. At the first sign of sickness, she starts consuming lemons! Lots of lemons - 6 in an afternoon?! Ginger root is also really good for avoiding sickness apparently...


26. Smile for the cameras! Remember that the photos will arrive through the post even if you don't smile!


Please don't take everything here too biblical. Remember that this is only one person's set of tips (and that I may have misheard some things)! She is a superstar but she has "only" done 2 marathons Also there are always different ways of doing things - Sonia's training regime is very very different to that from Joyce Smith's from the last talk I went to.
 

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Excellent piece there Hollywood - some very good tips for a total newbie such as myself.

Im getting really excited about getting the results next month, i sure hope that ive got a place. I know ive got LOTS of work to do in order to get anywhere near race ready, but im sure that being given a place will sharpen the mind to no end.
 

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Granty said:
Hi Joe,

All the best for the FLM, I hope to do it in 2007 and would love to hear your account of the big day. How far are you currently running at the moment?

Hope the training goes ok
Hi Grant,

Im up to a mind staggering 5 miles at the moment. Im not a pretty picture at the end of it, but its slowly getting easier.

Im finding that my legs are alright, my lower back gives me bits of aches, but i think that is down to sitting in an office all day, the weight training im doing should strenghten my back muscles.

Whats really getting to me is still the lungs. Whilst there is a 100% increase at least on how they were, they're still the first things to tire.... Ive seen devices which can be used to help strenghten lung muscles - im wondering if they are any good? Do they work etc?

Power Breath Apparently good for increasing strength and endurance... :confused: not sure if its a sound investment or not...

But apart from that, im feeling good. The main thing is, that i am enjoying the running. The days when i dont get out, i miss being out there. When im tiring, i wish i could go on, run further. Its becoming habit - which is good. :cool:
 
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