You've committed to it, the run of a lifetime. Out of your depth, unfit and scared of the monumental task ahead, you're definitely going to need training advice before the big race and top tips for recovery.
Odette Blacklock, a contestant of Australian Survivor season two, is a Podiatrist, run coach, personal trainer and owner of Athletic Medic Podiatry Clinic in Sydney. Below, she gives us her top five for keeping it together come marathon day.
Like making fire - prepare, prepare and prepare
Your training program should be adhered to as best you can, do not just wing it a week or two out and see what happens on the day. Give yourself the needed 12-20 weeks of training. A good plan will include tempo runs, speed intervals, VO2max, long runs and easy runs.
Get your shoes right
As a podiatrist, I see so many preventable injuries related to footwear. From blisters to fractures, your footwear can greatly help or hinder your success. I recommend getting your shoes professionally fitted and knowing what is suitable for your foot type and foot strike. This will also give you the ability to return it if you have any issues.
Do a half marathon about a month out from race day
This will boost your confidence and help you to feel mentally prepared. It will also identify any areas that need attention; prerace nutrition, rest and hydration. Oh - and try to run this a little faster than your marathon pace.
Do your prehab
David Goggins, an ultra-endurance runner and named the toughest man on the planet, reports that he stretches for four hours a day - allowing him to function optimally and continue to break world records. Now, you don't need to stretch for four hours, but it highlights the importance of taking the time to focus on your recovery and look after your body. Get hydrated and stay hydrated on the run. It takes a few days to build a good base of adequately hydrated muscles. When I do my long runs, it's essential to stay hydrated and not deplete my body. This will help in performance and injury prevention, as dehydration leaves the body vulnerable to musculoskeletal injuries. Lastly, rest and recovery are key. It is safe to say that rest is the most important prehab of all as the only time when your body can rebuild is when it is at rest.
Practice runs that mimics the course
A practice run will really give you a mental advantage. Your training should have mirrored the topography of the course so that you can prepare for inclines, declines and long flat straights. A marathon is such a mental game, this will help to eliminate doubts and help you pace yourself appropriately.
Oddette recommends the Under Armour Charged Bandit 3, which we managed to test out over the last week. The sleek silhouette keeps unobstructed, allowing for maximum forward momentum. It also fits perfect with unique SpeedForm along with a sockliner that easily molds to the foot, which means each stride is perfectly supported.
I have size 14 feet and found a long run to be no problem with them on, the strengthened rubber sole also meant heavy hitting on the pavement was not an issue. I'm also happy to say that orthotics fit in nicely, meaning those flat feet are covered no sweat. Whilst I may not be running a marathon anytime soon, my longer runs are covered for a fair while with the Charged Bandit 3's. I will say they don't look super fresh, but that's not what they're about. Check them out at underarmour.com.au and peep more Under Armour news here.