5 running strategies for building up for a full marathon

The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon is on the 20th January 2013. That means it gives me more or less 10 long runs to get in shape for the 42 Km onslaught on a hot and humid day in Mumbai.

The good news is that I have now comfortably done back to back half marathons. Last week I also ran about 26 kms albeit at a slower place. The bad news is that I still don’t know what lies on the other side of 26 kms. Last few attempts have resulted in injury.

The key for me is to  build up to 38 kms and at the same time not get injured or disheartened. I’m conscious that I’m now flirting in the danger zone. The last two times I got injured was around this distance only. So it feels like preparing for a tough exam where you can fail even before you take the exam – weird isn’t it.

Here are few strategies I’m going to put in place this time.

1) Rest Rest Rest: I will try and not run more than 3 times a week. 2 short runs during the week of 10-12k and one long run in during the weekend. And I will try and get as much rest I can. And no run during the last week building up to marathon.

2) Build Strength: Squats, lunges, planks and pushups are back in the agenda with a bit of yoga thanks to the 30 day yoga challenge that I’m doing with my friends.

3) Eat proper food and stay away from beer: I’m now weighing 84 Kgs. I feel that if I can reduce another 5-6 kilos I can reduce 10-15 minutes from my time. There are times when I feel tempted to grab a beer so may be a pint here and there but that’s it.

4) Build Pain ( muscle) memory: In my past attempts at marathon I have always struggled 26 km onward. I feel this is partly because I have always shied away from long runs. According to some people, it means that I have not built muscle memory of what happens post 26km. So this time I’m repeating every milestone twice- so my 26, 32, 35, 38 km runs will be all repeated twice. It may turn out to be a bad idea if I get injured but let’s see.

5) Cross train: Cycling is my cross training. Once a week of cycling  hopefully should be able to help me strengthen my quads.

So these are just some strategies. Like any strategy or plan -the proof of pudding is in the eating.

So let’s see how “tasty” the run is on the 20th.

This Marathon I’m running to raise money for a documentary film on ” Child trafficking for domestic servitude.  It will be great if you can donate some money for the same.


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