How to Determine Whether or Not You are Ready to Take Part in a Marathon?
More and more people have now started road running, and various competitions are gearing up to test all the runners. So, what does it mean to be prepared to go onto the racetrack? Here are some assessment methods for your reference.
1. Have You Completed Your Training Plan?
Scientific and planned training is the basic element for completing a marathon. A high degree of training completion actually means you are halfway to being successful. For many beginner runners, the most important thing is not how much interval running you should be doing, but your aerobic foundation.
For beginners and more advanced runners, the emphasized items in training might not necessarily be the same; the higher your level, the higher the intensity of training. However, if you don’t have enough aerobic foundation, even just simply the accumulation of aerobic training will be effective for the beginner runners in terms of both completing the race and hitting a plateau, so they don’t need too much stimulation.
So, whether you are looking for a coach, attending a running group, or starting your own schedule, you must know clearly that the more painful the training is doesn’t mean the more effective it is. At the same time, you have to ponder more about the purpose of your training. If it is mainly based on aerobic foundation, you can include the control of heart rate within the training, while pacing and distance are comparatively not as important. We often see that elite runners train a lot, it is mainly because at the same intensity that we train, their pace is faster. In the same time condition, they can naturally run a farther distance.
Although our running volume is less, if the training intensity is similar for the same amount of time, the benefits obtained by the body will not be that different.
2. Have You Made Adjustments so Your Body is in Its Best State?
Although training is the guarantee to completing the race, sometimes training too often will lead to overtraining. If minor, it’ll impact the race, but if serious, it might affect your health. This is another issue that can be discussed as well. In the stage of competition, instead of training, rest plays a more important role at this moment. Good rest can help us to take our performance up a notch. Of course, this is for runners who usually work hard. If they already usually rest…, then maybe even God won’t be able to help them, they can just continue to rest…
What happens most often in the reduction of training volume before the competition isn’t resting too much, but rather being reluctant about resting. This occurs especially as the race approaches, as they start feeling more nervous inside, and even worry about whether the training can support them until the finish line. They end up rashly increase the training volume. This situation often occurs with the decrease in training volume for the race.
If the schedule is completed in accordance with the plan throughout the training cycle, even if there were times that the training wasn’t completed well or wasn’t completed at all, this usually won’t have that much of an impact on the final result. Of course, this is the same with rashly increasing the training volume. The most important thing is that the best policy is still to implement and follow the plan.
We want to suggest here that when it’s time to rest, don’t be afraid of resting. At the same time, when carrying out quality training, make sure to save up some energy and don’t go all-out during the quality training before the actual race. We’ve seen many similar cases, and they usually don’t end well. One last thing that is very important is sleep. There are no other recovery methods that can replace sleep. During the reduction of training volume, try to maintain good sleep quality, and supplement it with the monitoring of rest heart rate. In the final stages of the training schedule, if after the training session, you still wish to continue and feel full of energy, it means that the body is ready for the race.
3. Reasonable Competition Arrangements
The main issue discussed here is the arrangements of competition times and the implementation of strategies during the races. Each marathon brings a heavy burden to the body. Even for the top athletes in the world, already having the aerobic capacity and physical fitness that we can never reach, most of them can only attend 2-3 competitions a year. For amateur runners like us, pick one race that you like for the year and just prepare well for it. And do your best with no regrets and it’ll be very satisfying.
During the race, especially if runners are attending a race in a relatively cooler location, such as Japan, Europe, and the United States, along with the self-complacency after the reduction of training volume, they often start the race using a pace that’s beyond their ability. For example, runners who can only finish the race in five hours running at a pace of less than four to start out, and regretting it in the end. Maybe the temperature and humidity of the training site are higher, which makes it easier for us to have unexpected performances abroad, but the most helpful part is in its delaying of the time point of where we start slowing down, so this does not mean that we can run at a pace beyond our ability, and having to self-reflect later on after the race….
As for the racetrack, if you are racing in another country and are not as familiar with the bumps and dips of the route, we recommend watching the past live broadcasts before departure and recording the mileage where there are changes in terrain conditions. You can be mentally prepared and also use it as a reference for strategy, as well as anticipate problems that you might face during the race.
Only with practical training, clever strategies, and rehearsals, will you be less prone to making mistakes during the busyness of the race. Once you step onto the racetrack, regardless of your level, you should place great importance on the marathon itself. Marathon is a sacred sport, respect it and, in return, it will give you generous results.