Marathon Training

So, you’re getting ready to run a marathon. What should you do to really prepare? What should you eat, how should you train? Here are some helpful suggestions to get you on track to reaching your goal.

Key points that a good marathon training program should include.

Training Level
Before you even start training you should have a fairly good idea of your marathon goal as it relates to your running ability and experience. Don’t be too ambitious at the beginning if you haven’t run a marathon before. Sometimes just finishing the race comfortably is a good enough goal. Pick a training level you can handle from a weekly mileage perspective. You will run a lot of miles during the weeks of training. The program you follow will need to be tailored to your own marathon goal. One size does not fit all.

Vary Your Runs
Try to vary your running pace from run to run. In fact most training programs will indicate what type of fun you should do each day. For example, easy pace, hill run and marathon pace.

Alternate Your Training Days
The problem with training for a marathon is that your body does not have enough time to recover from the increasing effort as you get further into the schedule. To counter this a good training program will follow the hard day – easy day principle as much as possible. This means you will alternate lighter training days with the harder ones. For example: Day 1 – 7 miles at tempo pace. Day 2 – 7 miles at an easy pace. Day 3 – 9 miles at your intended marathon pace. Day 4 – 7 miles at your intended marathon pace. Day 5 – rest. Day 6 – 17 mile long run. Day 7 – 5 miles at an easy pace.

A good program should also include dietary advice. Many marathoners believe that eating lots of carbohydrates is all they need for training. This actually is not true. Yes, lots of carbs will fuel your running, but you need proper amounts of protein as well to help repair muscle tissue that is broken down, especially during the longer runs. You also need adequate amounts of fat, but unsaturated as much as possible.

Mental Preparation
It takes a lot of mental fortitude to get out of the door day after day (especially in poor weather conditions) and go for your required training run. Some things to help are training with a friend or a group with similar goals, taking a couple of days off if you feel down, keeping a positive attitude, and visualizing reaching your goal.

It’s not all about running. It’s about other activities that will help you build endurance and stamina. It will help you also avoid injury.

Without a proper training schedule and without commitment, you will have difficulty reaching your goal. Keep strict to your schedule. When marathon day comes, you’ll be thankful you did when you successfully cross that finish line.

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Tread Lightly

Treadmill exercise has been proven to be beneficial for all kinds of people, including at risk groups like older individuals and pregnant women. Some kinds of aerobic exercises do not suit pregnant women or older people, but walking is always recommended and a treadmill is ideally suited for this purpose. Cardio-vascular exercise derived from walking or running on a treadmill helps you to burn extra calories and will help you to lose weight rapidly if you exercise on a frequent and consistent basis. A treadmill adds consistency to your walking workout and you can set both the pace and duration of your session and increase this in order to achieve a progressive improvement over time. A treadmill can also help you to achieve your personal fitness goals.

If you like walking or have been advised to walk regularly, then the weather conditions outside can create problems. When the weather conditions are poor during periods of rain, wind, snow or unfavorable temperature it makes it unpleasant or impossible to walk outside. With a treadmill you don’t need to worry about the weather and you can continue with your regular exercise regime.

With the constant walking on a treadmill looking at the same wall and space, how do you overcome boredom and lack of motivation? Try using the treadmill trainer, an audio workout that you can download on your iPod or Mp3 player to listen on your headphones while you jog/walk on the treadmill. It is like having a mini trainer in your ears to motivate you and guide you every step of the way. Or, try choosing an upbeat music compilation of your favorite motivating songs. You can also pick a time and television show you just can’t miss and plan your treadmill workout during that time. You’ll be so engrossed in your program, you’ll forget all about the calorie burn and exercise you are doing at the same time.

With a consistent treadmill workout, you want to make sure you are preventing injury. Remember these key points when walking or running during your treadmill workout.

  • Avoid toe, heel and knee injuries by using good shoes. Replace old worn out shoes so they give you a good support and have proper shock absorption.
  • Don’t overdo it. Use the treadmill every other day, not every day. Don’t go too fast and take it slow.
  • Warm up. Make sure you stretch and warm up your muscles before getting into your exercise routine.

A treadmill can be an excellent addition to any workout. Use some of these suggestions to keep yourself motivated and injury free. Enjoy walking all year long during any temperature or weather conditions that are outside by doing your walking/running routine on a treadmill.

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New Trends in Fitness

A new year, may mean a new workout, something to freshen up your drive to get out and get exercising. Hot fitness trends for 2014 include high-intensity interval training like CrossFit and P90X and body-weight training such as push-ups, pull-ups and planks. Also, yoga is expected to get even more popular. A more detailed list of the top 10 predicted fitness trends is listed below.

The Top 10 Fitness Trends Predicted for 2014

  1. High-intensity interval training, which involves working out as hard as you can for a short burst of time, followed by a short, less-intense period, jumps to the top of this year’s list. These exercise programs are usually performed in less than 30 minutes.
  2. Body weight training uses minimal equipment making it more affordable. Not limited to just push-ups and pull-ups, this trend allows people to get “back to the basics” with fitness.
  3. Kettlebell workouts are definitely one of the hottest fitness trends on the rise right now. Developed in Russia in the 1700s, kettlebells are just starting to gain real momentum in Western gym culture. Kettlebell training can reduce pain in the neck, shoulders and low back by improving their strength, can help you burn additional calories than a workout without them, and can increase your aerobic workout.
  4. Strength training remains a central emphasis for many health clubs. Incorporating strength training is an essential part of a complete physical activity for all physical activity levels and genders. (The other essential components are aerobic exercise and flexibility).
  5. Exercise and weight loss. In addition to nutrition, exercise is a key component of a proper weight loss program. Health and fitness professionals who provide weight loss programs are increasingly incorporating regular exercise and caloric restriction for better weight control in their clients.
  6. Personal training. More and more students are majoring in kinesiology, which indicates that they are preparing themselves for careers in allied health fields such as personal training. Education, training and proper credentialing for personal trainers have become increasingly important to the health and fitness facilities that employ them.
  7. Fitness Programs for Older Adults. As the baby boom generation ages into retirement, some of these people have more discretionary money than their younger counterparts. Therefore, many health and fitness professionals are taking the time to create age-appropriate fitness programs to keep older adults healthy and active.
  8. Functional Fitness. This trend toward using strength training to improve balance and ease of daily living. Functional fitness and special fitness programs for older adults are closely related.
  9. Group Personal Training. In challenging economic times, many personal trainers are offering more group training options. Training two or three people at a time makes economic sense for the trainer and the clients.
  10. Yoga. Based on ancient tradition, yoga utilizes a series of specific bodily postures practiced for health and relaxation. Includes Power Yoga, Yogalates, Bikram, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Kripalu, Anurara, Kundalini, Sivananda and others.

If you’re bored with your usual fitness routine, spice it up. Try something new. Keep yourself excited to continue to exercise to help you boost your weight loss.

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