BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WAIT) — Many runners are gearing up for the Mercedes Marathon February 16 in Birmingham. In this week’s “Living Well with Michelle,” Michelle talked to Dr. Michael Johnson at UAB about safe and effective training methods.
“The key to completing your goal of a marathon is to give yourself plenty of time to train appropriately,” Johnson said. “So you have to give yourself an honest look to see what your base mileage is. Some people may already run 20 or 30 miles per week. Some people run no miles at this point.”
For those who do not usually run, Johnson suggests increasing weekly mileage at about 5% during the training process. For those who have a higher base mileage, it can be increased to 10 or 15%.
“For a warm-up, you want to make sure you start with some dynamic stretching,” Johnson said. “Make sure you’re getting your core engaged, all those muscles you’re gonna need when you’re running engaged as well. Cool-down is also very important. You want to give your body plenty of time to have your heart rate come down.”
On the day of the race, nourish your body with healthy, familiar foods.
“Too many times people might try a different regimen or a different type of supplement they haven’t tried before,” Johnson said. “And that can sometimes lead to some unwanted stomach issues.”
Trak Shak co-owner Jeff Martinez has completed two marathons. During the races, he overcame physical and mental blockades just to keep moving.
“You get to a point to where you feel like your legs are gonna quit, you feel like you want to give up,” Martinez said. “I think you’ve got to keep reminding yourself that you’ve done the training, you’ve done everything you’re supposed to do, and you’ve just got to keep those legs moving, you know.”
Despite the rigorous race and training process, the feeling of crossing the finish line is one that makes it all worth it.
“There’s just nothing else like it,” said Martinez.
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