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How to be a more efficient marathon runner

This is no magic potion, but it might help you shave off even 15 minutes by making you more efficient.

other sports Updated: Sep 11, 2016 13:46 IST
Dr Rajat Chauhan
Dr Rajat Chauhan
This guide is no magic potion, but it might help you shave off even 15 minutes by making you more efficient.(Satish Bate/HT Photo)

India’s running season its entering its business end. The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon is a little over two months away and registrations for the event began recently. The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, scheduled for January 15, 2017, is winding up registrations and participants have begun receiving confirmations. The Wipro Chennai Marathon is exactly three months away.

With all of India’s big marathons on the horizon, those participating will want to step up their preparation or begin training, if they haven’t already.

Last year, in this column, we covered a beginners’ programme for half marathon. This year, we will do a level two programme for those targeting to run half marathon in under 2 hours in next 3 months or full marathon in under 4 hours 10 minutes in the next 4-5 months. This is no magic potion, but it might help you shave off even 15 minutes by making you more efficient.

Here are some rules to aid your marathon training:

Rule 1

If running is your love, strength-training is your mother-in-law. Most runners hate strength-training. Remember that it’s your muscles that move your skeletal system. Just put your head down and do as I say. You’ll thank me when you get to the finish line.

Rule 2

Let’s focus on smart training instead of over-training. Over-training is responsible for 80-90% of injuries amongst runners.

Rule 3

Practice consumption of water, electrolytes and energy food in training as you’ll need them to perform better. Remember full marathon (42 km) is twice the distance of half marathon (21 km).

WEEKLY CHART

The schedule to follow:

SUNDAY SLOW EASY RUN
60 min on feet, as slow as you like. Start with 2 min very gentle run followed by long slow run. Pace: While running, if asked a question, you should be able to answer in 7-10 word sentences, if not longer.

MONDAY SLOW EASY RUN
60 min on feet, as slow as you like. Start with 2 min very gentle run followed by long slow run.

PACE: While running, if asked a question, you should be able to answer in 7-10 word sentences, if not longer.
SKIP: Skip or hop in the same spot very softly for 30 seconds. Repeat 5-7 times throughout the day.

SQUATS: Keep your feet parallel and shoulder width apart. Have a stable chair a foot behind you. While squatting your knees should not cross the line on the floor and your butt needs to touch the chair or stool behind you. Have your hand stretched out in front to counter-balance. Do 10-20 repetitions. 5-7 sets throughout the day. 15-30 min easy walk.

TUESDAY SLOW EASY RUN
20-30 min running at a slightly faster pace than on Sunday. Pace: While running, if asked a question, you should be able to answer in 4-5 word sentences, and no longer. Even if you can go faster, slow down. It’s important to discipline yourself to run slower than you can.

WEDNESDAY SLOW EASY RUN
Start with a jog for 2-3 min followed by 5 min at a pace where when asked a question you should be able to answer in 1-2 words. Rest for 2-3 min. Run at a faster pace for 5 min. Repeat 4-5 times.

THURSDAY SLOW EASY RUN
Rest or maybe do 15-30 min easy walk.

FRIDAY SLOW EASY RUN
Start with a jog for 2-3 min followed by 5 min at a pace where when asked a question you should be able to answer in 1-2 words. Rest for 2-3 min. Run at a faster pace for 5 min. Repeat 4-5 times.

SATURDAY SLOW EASY RUN
SKIP: For 30 seconds. Repeat 5-7 times throughout the day SQUATS: Do 10-20 repetitions. 5-7 sets throughout the day. WALK: 15-30 min easy walk.

Rule 4

Take long deep breaths in and out, that’ll help you to be in control. If your breathing controls you, you won’t last very long.

Rule 5

To run as fast as you can, slow down. Pace yourself right.

Rule 6

It’s not a rat-race. Idea is to run better than you’ve run before, not faster than anyone else.

Rule 7

Keep miling and smiling. In the long run, that’s all that matters!

(Dr Rajat Chauhan is a student of running & pain and a Sports Medicine doctor. He has been organising La Ultra - The High, a 333km run in Leh-Ladakh for last 7 years now.)

First Published: Sep 11, 2016 13:46 IST