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We all know how gruelling and tough training for anything is. Training for a marathon is more so as it is as much mental as it is physical. With the Dublin marathon cancelled this year because of Covid-19, the motivation to keep training dims and you find yourself back at the start. It can be hard to get back into the intense training you were doing pre-Covid-19 as you find your daily routine completely changing. When the lockdown in Ireland began these were some of the ways I made sure to continue my training:
Keep a training log
This seems obvious but keeping a training log makes you more accountable in achieving your running goal for the week. The act of having to handwrite or type in how many miles you ran each day is a motivator in itself and according to the University of Rochester Medical Centre keeping a training log pushes you on days when your motivation is low. When Covid-19 hit Ireland in March I had to change my training log as I found I had a lot more free time to get my runs in. It also keeps up the sense of routine so that when work finally started back up it was not such a shock to the system.
Run 3+ times a week
The best way to keep your fitness up is to run three or more times a week. Once you stop running it’s quite easy to lose the level of fitness you once had. If you want to keep your training up this would be the best course of action. Remember to take rest days though! That’s important if you want to avoid any type of injuries. Alternating days of your runs help as well. It could start feeling like a chore if you’re running every single day. By alternating days you’re giving your body time to rest along with keeping you motivated.
This might be one of the most difficult aspects of training during Covid-19. With a lot of workspaces not open because of Covid-19, many are still working from home. Irishjobs.ie carried out a survey that showed 44% of people working from home were putting in longer hours than they did in a normal workday. It is easy to lose track of time at home when your usual routine is gone. Make sure you pick a time each day to get some of your training in so you don’t miss out. Your training log will help with this. It takes a bit of discipline to keep to it and make that time but it is worth it.
If you’re training for a marathon you should already know this but for anyone who doesn’t, good workout gear is essential, especially runners. When you run long distance your feet tend to swell with the constant pressure put on them. This makes running for a long time very uncomfortable and in some cases can lead to trapped nerves if your runners are too tight. A good brand that I would recommend Brooks. Unlike most runners where they just have standard widths, brooks measure the width of your foot along with the length and give you one that is most suited to you. They are on the expensive side, with prices ranging between €80-€160. It is worth the investment if you need that bit of extra room. Make sure to break them in first, though! You don’t want to discover at mile 15 that they make your feet burn. It will make the rest of your run feel longer than the actual marathon.
Core strength training
Core strength training like Pilates or Yoga is a great exercise to do along with your marathon training. There is a variety of different YouTube videos online for both. Strengthening your core is a must for when you hit that slump in your training and feel that your legs won’t take you any further. Your core strength training then kicks in and gets you over that finish line. It’s great for stretching those sore muscles and is something you can do in the evenings while watching Netflix.
There are a lot of different options with this. If you’re like me and partially race for the medals then Bling Hunters are the one for you! This was my favourite virtual racing page before Covid-19 hit and still is. All you need to do is choose the event you want to do- this could be a 5k, 10k, 100 miles in a month challenge etc- pay a small fee, and then keep track of all your runs with whatever running app or watch you have. Once you submit the kilometres to them they will send you out a medal. There is also the option of doing challenges where you get sponsored to run a certain amount of kilometres or miles within a month. All donations go to charity or a hospital in need and you get a nice medal, it’s a win-win situation.
Virtual races are what I would recommend most if you want to keep up your marathon training during Covid-19. This gives you an actual goal to work towards at all times and it doesn’t feel like you’re training for nothing.
For more information on Covid-19 and the new app check this out!