Copyright: Women Can 2017.
Part 1 - October 2017: Welcome to the Women Can Marathon training tips page and some useful pointers to having a great day on 27th May 2018.
If you’re already a seasoned competitor over the off road terrain then I’m sure you know how best to prepare. For most of us the WCM isn’t about competing but ‘sharing’ and ‘celebration’. The spirit of the event reflects the fact that in the West at least women really CAN take part in any and every distance and terrain.
Right, let’s sort the kit out.
This is some varied and testing terrain. If the weather has been unkind during May the surfaces could be wet and muddy in places as well as quite stony in others.
Relay runners doing the first and last legs of the event may well get by with their usual road shoes as the paths are fairly flat and well trodden but anyone doing the mid sections will benefit from some off road shoes with better grip and more resilient uppers.
Your Cotswold discount code and the knowledgeable staff can help you find something suitable if you haven’t tried off road shoes before.
The other key thing to consider is that off road running takes longer than road for the same distance and the terrain can tire you. For example:
Picking up your feet takes more energy
Focusing on the path about 10ft ahead takes concentration
Varied surface requires more balance and co-ordination
Wet or muddy surfaces can make both up and downhill more challenging.
So how about some practice over the next few months, try some shorter off road events, your local park run or get to the hills for a training run.
Part 2 - Jan/Feb 2018: Xmas and New Year are over so it's time to start getting in some extra miles for those of you who are new to the distance you're preparing to run, whether that's a relay leg, the half or full marathon.
As part of your weekly training it would be good to practice hill running, both uphill and downhill. Uphill requires strength, balance and drive, downhill needs good balance and agility.
Both have certain things in common:
1. Where to look....Try to look about 3-5 metres ahead to plan your foot strike.
2. Stay well balanced in an upright posture. Imagine the tips of your hips are headlights and keep them on 'full beam'.
3. Keep your drive foot under your centre of mass. On the uphill this will be the most effective push and on the downhill you will keep better balance.
4. Your stride may shorten. On the uphill this could be due to limitations in strength and on the downhill may be expedient for safe balance.
Practice both uphill and downhill in short spells to ensure you only practice correct form. Start with more gentle gradients and progress to short sharp ones.
In addition to run training you might also already use the gym, in which case you have opportunities to practice balance and agility away from the roads and trails.
Balance work on a 'bosu' or any unstable surface can be a fun challenge and add to your running skill.
Add challenge by having a partner throw a medicine ball to you whilst you're balancing, then increase challenge by getting them to throw at varied angles and heights.
Basic squats and lunges can help develop leg strength endurance. Get a friend or trainer to check that you're doing them correctly.
David Castle of Women's Running Magazine has penned us a special blog and the magazine is offering a subs deal too. Want to know how to be ready and prepared for a trail marathon? David (runner first, journalist second!) has all you need to know.
Click here to read his tips in 'Prepare for Tougher Trails' >>>
The ascent on the South West Coast Path, heading out of Ladram Bay and towards Sidmouth.