The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon is an annual half marathon foot-race held in New Delhi, India for the last 10 years and this year it is on the 29th of November 2015.
Established in 2005, it is both an elite runner and mass participation event. This year the marathon has created a sense of euphoroia and a large number of participants are training for the event.
Running a marathon requires great physical and mental training and is a test of both your spirit and immaculate planning. Participating in a marathon should be a fun, rewarding and safe experience. However, preparing for a marathon requires a lot of time, discipline and commitment, and can often feel overwhelming and, in some cases, result in injury.
There are a variety of effective and detailed training plans available for beginner, intermediate and advanced runners. A sports medicine specialist can help design a specific training plan for your level.
Since a marathon is considered the ultimate running challenge, it’s important to make sure that your body is up for the challenge. Ideally, you should only attempt a marathon if you:
- Have been running for at least a year
- Are able to cover 15 to 25 miles a week comfortably
- Have previous experience running one or two 5K races
- Have at least6-12 weeks to train
Successful running is all about being efficient. This does not mean as much for the beginning or average runner. However, as you get better, efficiency becomes a crucial aspect of running. The more efficient you are the less energy you use. The extra energy allows you to run faster and for longer periods of time.
Regular and consistent training is a key requirement to run and it is suitably complimented with correct nutrition and diet regimen. A good diet filled with the right nutrients is an essential part of any exercise routine, but it’s especially important for endurance events like marathons or triathons. Follow these nutrition and diet tips to make sure you bound over that finish line…
‘Hitting the wall’ or ‘bonking’ is every distance runner’s fear. It might sound like an old wives’ tale, but it’s a phenomenon that can happen to anyone, no matter how much training you’ve done. It occurs when the body’s carbohydrate fuel tank – the body’s preferred energy source during high intensity activity that is stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen – gets low and the brain and muscles show signs of fatigue. If you hit the wall during a marathon you’ll know about it, every step feels like wading through treacle. You can avoid the dreaded wall by ‘carb loading’ before and during a run to maximise your energy stores, which means stocking up on lots of carbohydrate-rich pasta, potatoes, and certain fruits and vegetables.
The power of protein:
Protein helps to rebuild muscle, so is particularly important after a long run to repair damaged tissue and stimulate the development of new tissue. Good protein foods to eat after a run include milk, cheese and yoghurt, white meats and eggs.
Your nutrition plan needs to kick in at least a few weeks before the big day. Experimenting with foods before and after a run and finding recipes you like is important – the last thing you need during the race is an unhappy stomach. Low GI carbohydrates such as wholegrain rice and pasta are good to introduce into your general diet at this stage as they release energy slowly and will build up your carbohydrate tank. The final week is the time for real carb-loading, so make pasta and porridge your friend.
Before long runs:
A few hours before any long run, eat a meal high in low GI carbohydrates, moderate in protein and low in fat to give your body all the nutrients it needs for the next few hours. Porridge with fruits, a chicken sandwich and fruit or a bagel and peanut butter are good options.
During long runs:
It’s important to replenish your carbohydrate stores during runs of 90 minutes or more. The body can only store around 2,000 kcals of glycogen and after a few hours of running, your fuel tank warning light will flicker on unless you frequently top up your carb stores. High GI carbohydrate foods are best during a run as they release energy quickly. Choose specially designed sport gels and isotonic drinks, or try bananas, oranges, honey and dry fruits.
Remember to stay hydrated with plenty of fluids and electrolytes. Drink plenty of fluids ranging from plain water to fresh lime, orange juice and even some energy drinks. You can sip in water even while running to avoid feeling dry in the throat.
So do your best……Run hard and reach the finish line and most importantly,keep the diet you are comfortable with!