Mistakes To Avoid While Training For a Marathon

No matter how experienced you are as a runner, training for a marathon is a whole different ball game. Unlike normal running for fitness and losing weight and building up stamina and metabolism, training for a marathon requires a colossal increase in your body’s running endurance and tolerance, which can only be cultivated with specific training.

So here are some of the classic mistakes made by beginning marathon runners and a look at how to avoid them!

Make sure you are choosing the right marathon plan for you

When you do a cursory search on the different types of marathon training plans available, there are literally hundreds that you will find that all touts to be the most effective.

And while it is true that most of it probably is a very good approach to training for a marathon, the important thing is to choose a plan that is optimal for you and your style of running.

Pick a plan that is not overly ambitious while also managing to push you further to increase your stamina and your running endurance. The plan should also be something that is within your current limits, and focuses on expanding your running limits, without completely tiring you out.

At the beginning of your training for a marathon, do not hesitate to experiment with a few different plans that you think might be good for you. Once you settle on a good action plan to achieve your marathon running goals, it becomes much easier and effective from then forwards!

Avoid the mistake of training too much

This is the most common mistake made by runners who are looking to get into marathon running.

Of course, running in a marathon requires much more stamina and running tolerance than the normal running. Of course, your marathon training needs to be more strenuous and hard in order to push your limits farther and get you ready to run for such long stretches of time.

However, over training does not help in any way. If you do not stick to a comprehensive and proper plan of action and train too much or too hard in the beginning stages itself, you will risk causing serious injury to yourself.

Marathon running, like in training for any other type of running, requires dedication and patience. You do not become marathon ready in a week, no matter how hard you train, so avoid wearing yourself out completely by training more than your level!

Never enter a marathon while having an injury

Even entering a short sprint race with an injury or sprain is highly risky and potentially can cause long term harm on your body fitness.

Entering a marathon with an injury, no matter how mild, is a particularly bad choice. In a marathon, you will be pushing your body for hours on end to be on the go. Marathon running requires physical stress over a long period of time, and if you have a pre- existing injury, it gets exacerbated to become even worse conditions by marathon running.

Better to treat the injury and get back to top shape for another race, rather than running on half steam and potentially not even making the finish line while running with a painful injury!

Make sure you are replenishing your body

Like a car without fuel, your body will also eventually start running on empty fumes if you do not regularly replenish its lost reserves, particularly during prolonged physical activity such as is involved in marathon running.

During your training itself, you must plan on the most optimal way to replenish your body and regain lost fluids and calories, but without making yourself heavy or bulky by eating too much.

The training period is the best time to experiment on what works for you and the meal and drinks plan to follow for your marathon run.

Develop good strategies and learn what works and what does not work for your own body during the training sessions so that you can give your best and keep yourself fuelled and healthy during the marathon run!

No matter what foods you eat or not, for these marathon diets, drinking lots of fluids is an absolute must. Keep that in mind while developing a good marathon running eating strategy.

Get the right equipment together

Marathons are not like going on a quick run or a full out sprint, where you will need your complete concentration to make to the finish line in one explosive burst of running.

In a marathon, you will be running for hours together before you even come in sight of the finish line. Concentrating only on the running the whole time is not just an unrealistic expectation, but also will lead to lessening of motivation as the time passes over the course of the marathon.

So, before you set out on a marathon, put together the optimal combination of marathon running equipment for you!

Ensure that the training outfit you wear is something comfortable that will not lead to any allergies or chafing over the long period of time, and also allows you feeling refreshed while wearing it.

Also make sure to pick the right shoes that are a perfect fit and do not hurt while you run. Comfort is the optimal concern while choosing the equipment for a marathon run.

Keep towels, water bottles and other such paraphernalia handy to keep you from over heating or becoming too sweaty over the marathon run. Keep a tiny music player or some other means to keep yourself relaxed while running.

All these and more, you can only fine tune and plan during the training for your marathon running!

Can Running Make You Taller?

You might have noticed at some point that athletes who play games which involve a lot of running usually tend to be taller and have more stamina than those who play the more sedentary games.

Running has long been looked at as a way to grow taller. Whether it is truly scientifically something that can be proven or not, there is no denying that there definitely does seem to be a relationship between height increase and running.

If that is not great enough, height also has a beneficial effect on running! People who are taller and have been running for a long time tend to be able to take longer strides, run faster, have more endurance and stamina, and are overall more fit than most of the population.

So how exactly does running make you taller? What are the various ways height has an impact on someone’s running speed and endurance, and how does running impact height in reverse?

Read on to know more!

How does running help you grow in height?

If you see any basic exercise plan recommended towards height increase and gaining those crucial few extra inches in height that make all the difference, you will find that ‘running’ is almost always mentioned on the list of exercises to help grow taller. An popular natural height increase exercise program called Grow Taller 4 Idiots uses running as its supplemental exercise.

By running for height increase, it does not mean that you have to just take a leisurely, badly planned jog across the street every now and then.

Running as a proper exercise involves intensity, dedication and discipline. Doing a high intensity running workout can truly be an overall great fitness exercise, not only for height increase, but also to simultaneously gain overall body fitness and a greater increase in stamina.

Running correctly and dedicatedly helps to increase height. The reasons for this is a whole variety of mechanisms and body functions, each of which contributes a unique perspective towards height increase and its co- relation to running.

While running, due to the type of exercise involved, the body stimulates the production of a hormone called as HGH or the Human Growth Hormone.

As the name suggests, this hormone is the primary one responsible for helping a person to grow taller. It is produced throughout a person’s life, though the amount of the hormone produced drops dramatically once the person reaches adulthood.

In children and teenagers, the human growth hormone is always produced in high quantities and hence they are continuously growing. In teens, this percentage is even higher, owing to their growing into their adult body and all the other hormonal changes and influences.

However, in adults, the growth hormone production tapers off and is nearly negligible. Which is why adults do not increase in height by a lot, no matter how they try.

But even for adults, growing to as much as six inches is possible! For this, the human growth hormone production needs to be kick started again. And this kick start is provided by intense and metabolism boosting workouts such as running.

Further, in running, the spine is continually decompressed. The posture required for proper running and the rhythmic spine decompressions that come along with the up and down movement of running, lead to straightening and slight elongation of the spine. This also contributes to height increase.

High intensity running and the growth hormone

Low intensity and easy paced running does not have much of an impact on height or help you grow taller that much.

This is because, in low intensity training, the kick starting of the growth hormone does not happen.

When people do intense and highly strenuous bursts of workouts, the gland producing the human growth hormone – known as the pituitary gland – goes into overdrive! As such, an excess of the growth hormone is released into your body.

The human growth hormone helps to build height by adding to building the bones and cartilage of the human skeletal system. Thus, the height you gain by running stays for the rest of your life – you will actually have grown taller by up to five to six inches!

Why micro fracturing can be a good thing

There is also another basis by which running can help to grow taller and has an impact on height. While running, and especially for high intensity runs like marathon run training and so on, due to the constant and continuous stress applied on the legs and the leg bones, they undergo a phenomenon called as ‘micro fracturing’.

Due to this micro fracturing, the body produces more growth hormone and bone size increasing hormones, in order to fix this micro fracturing. The concept of this is similar to the micro tears that are beneficial to add muscle mass in high intensity body building workouts.

As such, while fixing the micro fracturing, the body over compensates and the person gains a few inches in height!

How to run to grow taller

If you wish to run as a height increasing workout, you will need to ensure that your running goal plan is high intensity.

A casual jog or a low intensity long endurance burn running just won’t cut it for height increase. With the right type of running, even adults can gain as much as three to five inches in just a few months!

For high intensity running to have an impact on height, monitor your running plan and go for a good forty five to sixty minutes of continuous running every day.

First, you need to make sure you are fully stretched in all the major muscle groups. Warm ups help to maximize your efficiency in running while also ensuring that you do not get any cramps or muscle injuries later.

In your actual running, toss things up a bit. Have a disciplined plan that involves lots of alternating running, jogging, swift walking and flat out high intensity sprinting. This ensures that your body is allowed to recover slightly, while also building up your endurance.

While running can help even adults add two to five inches to their height through dedication and careful application, it is beneficial to growing children and teenagers like nothing else. They can gain a whole feet of height more than their normal genetic make- up, by practicing running in their growing years.

So make running a family workout, to get the best results in height increase for all!

The Marathon Runners Diet

Like in any type of workout, nutrition is an important facet that absolutely must be taken into account when you are preparing for a running workout.

This facet gains even more importance and prominence, when your running workout takes a turn from simply being a good workout to actual training for a running event – such as a marathon or a sprint competition.

When it comes to running events like marathons, the most important thing to build up for it in preparation and training is muscle tone, good posture, and most importantly – endurance and stamina!

To build up endurance, overall body fitness, stamina and a good muscle mass, a highly optimized and careful diet is essential.

Here are a few tips that marathon training runners must keep in mind to get the most out of their training sessions!

Tips on reducing muscle cramps with the right intake

Muscle cramps and scrunching is one of the top problems faced by any runner, and it becomes a particularly aggravated condition in marathon training.

Being as it is about strength and endurance, marathon running and training for marathons needs to be as less on muscle related cramping and injuries as possible.

Dehydration is one of the main causes of severe muscle cramping. When you work out as rigorously as you will need to for the marathon training, but do not drink enough water to compensate for the fluid loss, it can have grave effects.

Not only will it lead to intense and painful muscle cramping, it will also promote tiredness, body fatigue, lowered stamina, and overall reduced efficiency of training in running.

Thus, water and fluid replenishment like taking plenty of fresh juices is highly important for marathon run training.

Another important set of nutrients to consider are magnesium and sodium. Sodium and magnesium are proven to have an important role to play in maintaining the body electrolyte balance and also in relieving muscle stress and fatigue.

Magnesium is particular has been claimed by scientists to be important for muscle building and muscle regeneration.

Protein diet is also essential for maintaining a good nutrient balance to support marathon running training.

To cover all the above nutrient requirements of a marathon running trainer, food stuffs like oats, wheat, barley and cereals must become a staple in the diet of the runner.

Fresh fruit juices, nuts and seeds are also highly rich in all the above essential nutrients for the marathon runner.

Other key nutrients for the marathon trainer

Iron and calcium are two incredibly important nutrients that promote overall body fits and much higher workout potential in the marathon runner.

The blood red pigment is known as ‘hemoglobin’. This hemoglobin contains a ‘heme’ or iron rich sub unit, which is the most important component for carrying oxygen in the blood – that is, body oxygen transport.

Calcium is the nutrient that is most highly utilized in the energy burning and producing mechanisms of the body, and also for building of muscles and increased brain activity and nerve response in the body. In fact, calcium is also highly important for the heart.

Thus, having a food rich in iron and calcium is necessary for a marathon runner. One veggie that contains both in copious quantities is beet root. Consider drinking a good mug full of beet root juice at least once a day, or as part of your pre run or post run maintenance diet!

This can have enormous impact on your marathon running potential.

Abstain from alcohol and fats

On the items to avoid, alcohol takes spot number one. Full of empty calories, and pointless carbon dioxide, alcohol is a chief item on the ‘no’ list. Other foods to avoid are high fibre and high fat foods.

Eat healthy and eat right to get the most out of your marathon running!

How To Prevent Injuries From Your Running Workout

Getting injuries while you workout is not anything out of the ordinary. An effective and good workout should definitely involve strenuous and tiring muscle and full body exercising, for it to have the desired results.

Such full body and muscle targeted exercising always leads to injuries when not done with the proper form and when proper pre and post workout maintenance strategies are not followed.

A recent study stated that as high as sixty five percent of the people who regularly follow running as their primary workout develop long term and chronic injuries and problems, all solely due to bad training practices and being negligent of post running maintenance.

Read on to know some important tips on how to prevent injuries while running and also how to care for a runners’ body!

The most important point: Learn and maintain your Limit

The easiest way to prevent a running injury is simply learning and keeping in mind how far you can go!

Like in any workout, running also has its limits. You won’t find a beginner body building aspirant directly starting with four hundred bench presses and high number of weights.

Similarly, if you have just started running or are an intermediate runner, the most possible way for you to cause some serious muscle damage to yourself is simply running too much and for too long at a stretch!

Running is all about the build up. You start out slow, you increase the pace to a steady beat of movement and you need to vary your speed and pace if you find yourself slagging or hurting at any point.

This is just within a run alone! Similarly, you have to mind at what stage of the running regime you are on. Read up on the miles and time of running that is optimal for each stage of a runner in a running workout, and follow accordingly for maximum results and minimum injuries.

Run with a more optimal stride!

While reading up on running and the best way to get the most out of a single workout, you would have seen one tip being touted – taking a good long stride for getting that maximum workout burn for greater fat burning and increased muscle build.

While this is all very true, the common mistake is a most understandable one – simply over- doing it!

The stride of the run is important. However, by ‘long’ people do not mean every person has the same length they can over reach their strides to. This is basic common sense.

A person with shorter legs or greater body mass has a harder time taking a longer stride than those with longer legs and leaner body mass.

So, take the stride that gives you the best burn, without actually starting to hurt after running for a good fifteen to twenty minutes. In running, it is not just about the intensity of the run. The endurance or how long you can run is also extremely important for the optimal running workout!

Hence, get a handle on the best stride length for you and ensure to keep your strides constant through your running for greater injury prevention while running!

Use other exercises for better body maintenance

While running alone is a truly remarkable workout for overall body fitness and muscle building and also fat burning, it is not the be all, end all.

Running can give greater results and more efficiency, when it is balanced out and followed up by some other exercises – like mild weight training, a good bout of acrobatics, etc.

Using other workout patterns mildly to balance out the strenuous exercise caused by running has a great effect on injury prevention for running!

Top Three Tips For Running Faster

Running workouts are ultimately aimed at doing two things – 1) gaining overall body muscle tone and fitness and 2) building up the body’s metabolism and stamina by conditioning it to run faster, and for longer.

Achieving the two above goals go hand in hand. If you can condition your body to the point where it is fit enough to run faster and has built up a great deal of endurance for running, then it will automatically have enormously boosted its stamina and fitness.

As such, getting to the point in the running workout of being able to run faster is a definite marker for doing something right in your running routine.

So, how can you condition your body to run faster? Why, with some expert pro running tips and posture hacks, of course!

Read on to know more!

Learn to sprint right

The first part of your body that tires when you go for a run is – obviously – your feet! Improper feet placement and not balancing out your body weight right is the number one reason for not gaining speed in your running workout, or in dire cases, even some of the running injuries!

Learn to make use of the whole of your feet to give you traction needed for running faster. Distribute your weight and use your glutes to enable your legs to take longer strides without your feet feeling too heavy.

Use your arms as propulsion for speed

Many people keep their elbows bent and their arms rigid in front of them while going on a run. This reduces your speed by a great degree!

Learn to swing back your arms hard while running, to give that added bit of propulsion and effortless body weight distribution. This really helps to run faster and for longer.

Do squats and planking pre-run

Doing exercises that concentrate on the thighs and calves, such as squats and planking exercises, before going for a run, helps to keep the muscles loose and ready and lets you put real speed into your strides to let you run faster!