Training Like a Boss: Over 30s Marathoning
As your body begins to age, you may notice you aren’t as ‘able’ to train as much as you were when you were in your 20s. That’s not to say you should quit running (quite the opposite, actually), but slight adjustments to your training pattern should be considered, especially as some of the physical attributes to your body begin to hinder, such as your aerobic capacity, metabolism slows, and your body fat increases. These are a few of the different effects aging can have on your body, and they are often more evident among marathon runners. Not to worry: I’m going to help you see the light with your marathon running training, by providing you with some tips you can use to enhance your marathon running!
Take more rest days
At this stage, I’m not sure if you like the sound of this idea or not. Nevertheless, it’s something I feel is important, particularly as you get older. It may be time for you to consider cutting back on the training days in total, and having extra rest to help your body recuperate for a better quality training session. You’re actually doing your body a disservice if you train too much without enough rest. Allowing enough recovery time will help prevent a stress fracture, or other injury resulting from working your body too hard.
Often training can feel just as tiring as the marathon itself, which is why it’s important to warm up before training. Your muscle mass reduces as you enter the 30s and older so it’s crucial to treat your muscles with absolute delicacy and give them the treatment they deserve. Before and after you train, you need to stretch properly to protect muscles and elasticity.
Don’t overwork yourself
Running marathons, and running in general, is a very delicate sport, and unless you treat it as such, you’re likely going to be prone to an injury, such as stress fractures and pulled muscles – which is exactly what you DON’T want to do before a marathon (or ever, for that matter). When you train and plan your training, don’t feel obliged to complete every aspect you plan. It’s good to set goals, but sometimes you have to take a look at your goals and think rationally about them. If you find yourself unable to complete a training session, don’t be disheartened.
You could either just be having a bad day, or are simply not capable of training as much as you had anticipated. Don’t go out of your way to complete a training session simply because it’s what you wanted to achieve. Only you know your body, so it’s up to you to decide when you’ve had enough. There is no shame in not completing a training session: as long as you tried your hardest and put in a solid effort into the training. Don’t risk injury out of pride; it’s simply not worth it.
Variety is key
Training for a marathon does not necessarily mean spending your time at a gym lifting weights, on a treadmill or other typical training techniques for runners. In fact, it is highly recommended (particularly for those over 30) to diversify your training. Try aerobic running, cycling, and swimming. These types of training help expose your body to different circumstances which increase the durability and fitness level overall, which is important when running marathons.
Prepare for the worst
When the weather is terrible and everyone else is inside in front of the fire with a cup of hot chocolate, I like to push myself and train in those conditions. Anyone over the age of 30 can find this to be incredibly helpful to the success of your marathon, as it prepares you for what could potentially happen when running the marathon. It’s crucial to expose your body to these harsh conditions and get used to them… embrace them, even. Not only does it help you in preparation for these circumstances, but it will also add perception to how easy it is running in modest conditions, and therefore if the weather is nice when it comes to marathon day, your experience will be far more enjoyable and tranquil which should result in a better time, hopefully.
If you’re someone over the age of 30 who is training for a marathon, I would highly recommend you at least consider what I have said. Not only will your body thank you for it, but I can almost guarantee you will do far better in a marathon in comparison to overworking, and not taking enough precautions in your training sessions.