Marathon Preparation - Staying In Your Zone

By: ericgfreeman - May 10, 2012

Marathon Preparation - Staying In Your Zone

By Eric G Freeman

About three weeks from the marathon your last long run over 18 miles should be completed. From 2 weeks out decrease to 10-15 miles, and 7-12 miles at one week from the day of the marathon.Your ratio of carbohydrates to protein and fat will do the opposite as they increase. While your normal training period consisted of about 50 to 60 percent of your daily calorie intake should coming from carbohydrates. As you enter your tapering off period you should increase this to about 60 to 70 percent and during the last three days increase to 80 percent. By doing this you will fill your energy reserves and decrease your chances of "Hitting the wall" during the marathon.

Its important to go into your run warm and relaxed, stretching is a key component to improving your performance as well as prevent injury. There are two forms of stretching to consider for optimum results. Static and Dynamic, static stretching places a muscle group in an fixed position for a set amount of time. Dynamic Stretching incorporates a controlled swinging motion or a light springy motion to move specific muscles past their normal range of motion. After you've completed a light jog to start your warm up you may do light static stretching followed by these specific dynamic exercises: Arm Swings, Lunges, Walking Lunge, Ankle Bounce, Ankle flips, Walking High Knees, Running Butt Kicks, and Running High Knees. These stretches will prepare your body for the task at hand. Once you've made it over the finish line you'll need to cool down with a light jog/walk for 5-10 minutes followed up with moderately intense static stretching to relax your nervous system.

Running Form
During the marathon your running form is crucial to a successful race. Good bio mechanics will determine how efficient your run goes. Starting with your head make sure you gaze straight ahead and avoid looking at your feet as looking down or leading with your chin is a precursor to bad form throughout the entire body. Make sure that your shoulders are down and relaxed, if you find them hunched forward or elevated simply shake them out to release the tension and energize the area. If you notice your torso leaning forward take a deep breath, this will lift your chest naturally into an upright position. Avoid excessive leaning in either direction as this can cause your pelvis to tip forward, which in-turn can cause serious back pain. Lift your torso upright as if its floating above your hips with your elbows bent at least 90 degrees and unclenched fists. Proper arm movement helps your leg stride length, if you notice your arms tightening shake them out at your sides for a few seconds to release any tension. Remember a good leg stride length involves slight knee elevation followed by your feet landing underneath your body. Make sure your feet doesn't slap the ground hard, they should land lightly between your heel and arch rolling forward to to push off from your toes to next stride straight to the finish line.

Fuel is Crucial be sure you prep your body with the proper nutrients before the race. At least an hour and a half before your race you should consume to 1 liter of water and a simple meal with complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal or granola. Choices like these will disperse more energy for longer periods of time. Another critical component of marathon nutrition is in race hydration. Do not wait until you are thirsty to rehydrate, as a general rule stop for water/Gatorade every 3 miles. Also gel packs such as GU are a great supplement during marathons. They contain essential B vitamins which give the body energy and extra stamina for your run. Consume one pack every 45 to 60 minutes with WATER. Gatorade and gel packs have high sugar content. Too much simple sugar at once can lead to an upset stomach.
Remember every one's needs are different be sure to prep your body with consistent training, maintain it with a good stretch routine, master your body's bio mechanics with impeccable running form, and keep your engine running all the way through the tape with strategic nutrition. Good Luck!

Eric G. Freeman NASM-CPT
Founder, The Evolution Fit Club
(646) 820-0386

About the Submitter


My name is Eric G, Freeman, founder of The Evolution Fit Club, a Physical Fitness company located in New York City. I service clients from the five boroughs, New Rochelle, Yonkers, and Jersey City. After receiving my BFA from St. John’s University in 2002 I rediscovered my passion for health, physical activity, and sports in 2004.

I currently train private clients at their home gym facilities and in private fitness studios in New York City. My clientele range from a healthy, athletic high school fencer and basketball player to a sixty two year old with arthritis, hypertension, and glenohumeral laxity. I also train individuals who are borderline diabetic, several with histories of musculoskeletal injuries. In addition to private training, I am also a presenter, lecturer and consultant.

Know Thyself, Be Thyself, Love Thyself,
Eric G. Freeman, NASM-CPT,
Founder of The Evolution Fit Club,
(646) 820-0386 | www.evofitnyc.com | evolutionfitnessnyc@gmail.com

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