From Robert Forster PT
The Exclusive Physical Therapist for the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon for a decade and Voted Best in LA
1. Start Slow–
The best strategy to improve both your enjoyment and your finishing time in the marathon is to start slow and get your metabolism into a fat burning groove. Your body cannot do it on carbs alone.
The reason the marathon continues to be a challenge for men and women today, 4,000 years after Pheidippides first ran from Marathon to Athens, is that the energy required for the average human body self ambulated 26.2 miles, is just beyond what the average human body holds in stored carbohydrate fuel. Each year we see on the course where carbohydrates stores become depleted. Right around 18-20 miles we see too many marathoners “hit the wall” as their progress slows from fatigue and muscle cramping. Armed with this knowledge, all science based marathon training programs work to increase your ability to burn body fat for energy while you run. It is all about the pace. To avoid hitting the wall and losing lots of time in the last 6-8 miles you need train slowly and teach your body to burn fat. On race day, you need to start slow and find the fat burning groove. Your body will love it and you will love the time on the clock when you cross the finish line!
Understanding your personal pace requirements is a matter of science.
We highly recommend a VO2 test to outline your heart rate pace for every stage of the race.
2. Plan for the conditions-
The reality of athletic competition is that you train for your best performance in the best of conditions, but you also have to prepare for the worst. This year’s marathon may be hot and dry, or cold and rainy which could be a recipe for disaster if you are not prepared. Overheating is not only a performance killer, but also a serious threat to your health. Even more than cold and windy conditions – which you can dress for – ANY forecasted high temperatures are a very serious factor for your enjoyment and survival. Please take measures to mitigate the dangerous stress caused by overheating.
Understanding your nutrition and hydration requirements is a critical aspect of your race and is best strategized after a Resting Metabolic Rate Test.
3. Dress For The Occasion:
If it is forecasted to be hot, dress in light and airy clothes made of synthetic materials that cover as much skin as possible and allow air to pass over your skin and wick the sweat away to evaporate and cool your body. It will be chilly at the race start, but do not wear too many layers. There is evidence that pre-cooling your muscles before exercise helps prevent overheating and preserves your body fluids, so do not wear much more than what you will wear during the race.
To learn more about energy management and your physiology contact us at 310-582-8212 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org for a complementary Phase IV Performance Consultation.