How To Prepare For Marathons and Benefits of Running
One of the most well-respected and reputed experts in the running community Daniel Vaz is a seasoned running coach.
Daniel has been running for 22 years and coaching since 2007. He is a veteran of over 29 Full Marathons and has run all over the world. Dan’s years of experience, knowledge and love for running has inspired generations of runners across India let alone Mumbai. Sportskeeda interviewed the stalwart on benefits of running and ho to prepare for marathons:
1) Why running is important and should be a part of one's fitness regime?
Runners experience a state of well-being, for which they strive to run every day and not merely to win medals. Running becomes a soothing balm in their lives, to cure them from mental and physical issues. So, if one adds running to their fitness regime it not only makes them physically fit, but also helps them in mental and psychological aspects.
2) How should one prepare for marathons, especially those who are going to run for the first time?
The first thing you need to do is make sure that you work with a coach or seasoned runners who can advise you about the kind of training plan you need to take up. You should wear right training apparel, right shoes and have a training plan that incorporates safe progressions, and ensures strength training as a part.
3) What should the diet be like for marathon runners?
A good diet is a prerequisite for running a marathon and I believe, a nutritionist or a coach should be able to give you the right meal plan to prep up your body for race day. Does it matter what time of day you eat? Absolutely! You can segregate your meal intake based on your workouts.
You should ensure a pre-run carb meal because your run and speed are powered by carbohydrate metabolism. Animal protein should be avoided as it takes a lot of time to be digested. Drinking coffee/caffeine is good for runners as it helps in fat metabolism and the buzz it gives the central nervous system gives a sense of wellness. Beetroot, especially juice, helps in enhancing performance, as it has nitric oxide which expands blood vessels which leads to less resistance to blood flow.
4) What type of shoes should one use while running marathons and, also, for running as a practice?
Shoes play a very important role in your training and running. While Training shoes allow lateral and multiplanar movements which help you get a grip on any kind of surface because you are going to be moving, not necessarily in a uni-directional motion, running shoes are scientifically designed with a heel counter, sole, arch support and are meant specifically for road running. They have cushioning for the heel and forefoot, and an arch which is shaped in a certain way. If you have any foot abnormalities, like flat feet or very high arches, requirements are different, and you are advised to talk to a shoe expert. A good guideline is that if you have no anatomical issues for your feet/limbs, you should buy a standard branded shoe.
5) 5 things that should be there in one's checklist before going for a marathon
- Proper hydration i.e. drink enough water and electrolyte and ensure clear urine before your race
- Eat an easily digested carbohydrate meal
- Ensure you warm up before the race
- Have a race plan for how you want to pace and execute your race
- Have a defined plan on how much mid-race hydration and nutrition you will need and at what points in the race.