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The key to a great autumn marathon!

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Running 42.195 km is not to be taken lightly. Particularly when you want to achieve a good time. That's why it's so important to organise yourself properly during the months preceding the big day. The countdown has already begun…

 

> It's never too late…

If you have already run marathons, you will doubtless be aware of the need to organise your training according to an objective. If the marathon is due for the autumn, it's not too late to finalise the best strategy in the middle of winter.

 

Questions:

- Have you chosen the event in which you will be participating?

- Have you reserved your race number?

- Have you evaluated the effects of your preparation on your personal and professional life?

 

For peace of mind, you need to make sure, right now, that nothing will disrupt your training. Particularly during the final three months. Settle the essential logistical details: transport and accommodation (if you are planning to run in a marathon that is far from home).

Advice: If your objective is to achieve a good time, choose a fast itinerary and check in advance that the fatigue caused by a travelling will not disrupt your fitness on the big day.

 

> Do not delay the basics

The marathon runner must be able to cope with problems and adversity, first and foremost. Now is the time, in the middle of winter and with the arrival of spring, to build solid foundations. It is important not to deviate from your plan in any way or cancel any runs (particularly the long weekend sessions) on account of the rain or the excellent meal you had the previous day. Be disciplined and carry out a weekly check that your performance levels – at every level of intensity – are improving.

Advice: if you can (and who cannot?) run the longer sessions of your weekly programme with other runners of a similar level of ability or who are slightly better than you. This will ensure that you do not rest on your laurels…

 

> Set yourself an objective (even if it needs changing later on)

Maybe you will have a good surprise. Maybe not. In both cases, you need to set an objective now that takes into consideration your previous times. Do not flatter yourself: the marathon distance is gruelling. It is rare for someone to improve by more than 10 minutes from one race the next. It is therefore wiser to stay modest.Even if it means improving your aspirations over the course of the months.

Advice: do not worry if the pace that you have set yourself for your autumn marathon seems unattainable at the moment. Let time take its course. Keep training…

 

> Be vigilant

Marathon runners are architects. They are also bricklayers. In order to be successful, the preparation for a marathon must focus on several fundamental aspects:

- Regularity and gradual improvement.Spread your sessions over the entire week and progressively increase the mileage. You must ramp up your training in order to reach a plateau that is close to your racing objective before the summer break (essential for recovering before the final "sprint").

- Compliance with the training plan.If this has been correctly chosen, it should demand significant effort without leading to exhaustion. It is very important to know when to admit that the programme is too hard and too quickly lower the bar. And if you feel that the training is too easy, wait for at least a month before deciding to set yourself a more demanding plan.

- Awareness of your body. Do not pretend to ignore it:runners get injuries. And injuries are all more frequent when runners do not see the warning signs and make regular visits to a physiotherapist specialised in sports traumatology.

 

Advice: It is better to cancel a session and take a week off than to risk triggering a nasty tendinitis…

 

> Ramp up the training

It's too early for specific training methods. So, learn to maintain a certain physical or even mental freshness. But test yourself. Have you scheduled a 10km run and/or a half marathon for the spring? Give it a thought if you haven't. Your preparation should be based on objective milestones. And nothing will give you a better evaluation of your condition than a pre-marathon race.

Advice: choose preparatory competitions that are suited to your future marathon, both from the point of view of the itinerary's topography as well as the logistical restrictions.

 

Never lose sight of the opportunity that is yours. Doing the best you can in training in preparation for an autumn marathon is a real privilege!

 

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