So you have recently taken up an interest in long-distance running and want to run your first marathon in Malaysia, but where should you start? With the vaccine now in place, many marathons may start reopening, which means this is the perfect time to begin your training. Beginner or advanced, here are a few tips on how you can improve when it comes to long-distance running.
Warming up allows you to get the best out of your run. Getting your body temperature up pre-run will help to improve your running performance. Start with a brisk walk and make your way up to a slow jog. Once you feel a slight burn, squeeze in some stretches before getting into your strides to make yourself less prone to injuries.
We all know that not being able to train due to fatigue is downright annoying. Remember to warm down with a short leisure walk or by using foam rolls after. This will help take off the soreness you feel the next day.
Build Up To It
When it comes to long-distance running, you may not be able to complete 42km on your first try. Slowly build your way up throughout your training course. Start with a 5km run and gradually add some distance every week in your training plan. Soon, your body will become used to the extra kilometres you put out, improving your running endurance. Most runners in Malaysia take about 16-20 weeks to prepare for a marathon. You know what they say, “sedikit-sedikit lama-lama jadi bukit”.
Have Good Running Form
Proper running form can help you run more comfortably and efficiently. Having good running techniques protect you from injuries as well as save you energy during your runs. Make sure you keep your chest up, back straight and face forward. Loosely swinging your arms also helps you gain momentum without the expense of burning energy. Avoid stomping your feet while you run as this can cause damage to your joints.
While there are many running form recommendations online, finding out what your body is comfortable with is essential. Your ideal form is the one that allows you to train week in week out injury-free.
Train With Different Routes
Your body needs variety. Changing up your sessions now and then is highly recommended. Instead of running down that same stretch of road outside your house, try planning your sessions ahead of time with different routes. This is because repeated routes can lead to boredom which can cause a runner to quit altogether.
Switching up your routes will also help to train your body for any type of obstacles, like steep hills or uneven surfaces to better prepare yourself for the actual race. Here are a couple of new routes in Kuala Lumpur that you can try out to help stimulate both mind and body the next time you go on a run.
Monitor Your Pace
Knowing your limits is crucial too. You may get frustrated if you feel that your body burns out too quickly. If you’re constantly out of breath, try pacing yourself at a speed that you’re comfortable with first and track your progress on a weekly basis. As your training sessions go by, progressively increase the pace of your runs. Interval training is also a great way to increase your speed and boost your running endurance.
Running long distances is not an easy task. Don’t forget to train consistently and pat yourself on the back with minor achievements. Whether you’re running an extra 1km or 10km, any form of improvement is worth celebrating to stay motivated. Remember to always focus on the positives and you’ll be competing in the next marathon before you know it!
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