Tips for beginners training for the Waterford Viking Quarter Marathon
With the 8th Viking Marathon taking place on June 22, I feel its time to share some information for people participating in this event.
Maybe you’re going for the quarter marathon (11.5km) or half marathon (21km)? Firstly, if you are participating, well done as this will be an excellent achievement and extremely rewarding. Regardless of what distance you are hoping to complete, below are some training tips that will help you towards your goal.
Before you attempt to make any serious changes to your current exercise habits, always check in with your GP and inform them of your intentions. Most of the time there is no problem here, but better safe than sorry. Get yourself some decent running shoes and talk to a staff member in the sports shop who can help with what’s best for you.
Hydration and electrolytes
Hydration is critical for performance and your safety, especially if your training in hot conditions. We are recommended to consume two to three litres of water per day so aim for that but also sip while running. An easy method to monitor your hydration is to weigh yourself before and after your running session. If you are 2 kg less after your session (assuming you ate no food), then you need to replace two litres of fluid. Remember you will also need to replace electrolytes that you will lose through sweat. Dioralyte sachets can be purchased at any pharmacy and might be worth considering.
Make a training plan and monitor yourself
Based on the distance that you are training towards, you should take some time to map out a plan for the next 45 days. I would recommend committing to three sessions a week. This plan should be gradually progressive week by week or session by session with your end distance being the goal. Remember to include rest periods where you cut back the mileage and lower the intensity. With 45 days until the event, you might do three training weeks, one “rest week”, two training weeks and one final “rest week” before the event. Remember, a rest week doesn’t mean you do nothing - it just allows your body to recover.
Resistance training and mobility
Engaging in resistance training that strengthens your core will allow you to be more stable throughout the event and avoid wasting energy – even once a week could help. Additionally, you should put some time into ensuring your lower body (hip and ankle) joint mobility is good. Having poor mobility is like driving a car with the hand brake half pulled up.
Remember to listen to your body. If you feel low on energy or your becoming exhausted, it may be a sign you are over doing the training or not consuming enough food to allow your body to recover. The very best of luck and if there is anything I can help you with please get in touch.