Free Expert Tips To Train For A Marathon Need advice to run a marathon? Or maybe you want to complete your 42km in a faster time? Check out these free expert tips and nutritional advice to assist your training.
You’ll be surprised that a day of complete rest can actually cause your performance to drop – a study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise reports that if you’re a committed athlete who trains six days a week, it may not be beneficial to totally do nothing on your rest day. As paradoxical as it sounds, and as much as runners need to have complete rest, knowing how to maximise your rest days with a controlled workout can give you that extra boost needed to get you to the next level.
Tailor Your Workout
Active rest, or doing some form of activity on your rest day is akin to doing a light jog (as opposed to walking) in between interval runs. You’re obviously not going to go full-force with a hardcore workout, so scale down your efforts. As a benchmark, run at the most 30 per cent of your maximum effort – for instance, if your resting heart rate is 60, and your maximum heart rate is 170, keep your level of physical effort at around 93 beats per minute [(170-60) x 0.3 + 60].
Find a quiet stretch and run alone – the solitude will help you manage the level of exertion. There is no exact formula for your level of effort on a rest day, so listen to your body. Surround yourself with runners (like East Coast on a busy Sunday evening), and you’ll be goaded into running too quickly. That’s bad, because extra effort on a rest day will cause even more muscle damage, hindering your progress.
Training While Tired
Sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Check out this study from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark: Subjects were made to exercise one leg daily and the other leg two times a day. The amount of training was kept equal, but the leg that was forced to train two times worked out in a pre-fatigued state in the afternoon, which happened just a few hours after the morning workout. After several weeks, the endurance in the leg that trained twice daily showed an increase in endurance of 90 per cent more than the other leg. Training in a fatigued state can hold benefits – but when in doubt, just take a break.