Is Life Is A Marathon or a Sprint? Top Tips to Start the Running Season

On initial inspection the title of this blog might seem like a strange one for a sprinter, what would I know about marathon running you might be thinking? Well more than you might assume, because we have another saying in athletics and it's 'Play the long game'. Again, it might seem like a bit of a strange one because we don't even play games in athletics. But the purpose of the saying is to act as a reminder that athletics lasts more than just the race in front of you. That sitting out the next race, might mean being able to participate in the rest of the season. So in short it's about being sensible and thinking about the future of your running career or enjoyment. Diabetes is a similar thing in that what you do today can help you tomorrow.

Another thing I've learnt in athletics and in living with diabetes, is that to stay in shape you have to look after the whole body and this includes your feet. They're not always pretty and they're often a runner's last thought, despite being one of the most important tools of the trade. But looking back at my days when working for a global sports retailer, it's amazing the amount of people that are more concerned about what they're wearing on their top half to run their marathon, than the bottom half. One of the big things that has helped my sporting performance are my Protect it socks. Which are certainly worth considering if you're training for a marathon or really getting into your running. Anyone can be prone to blisters, whether you have diabetes or not and investing in Protect it socks now, could prevent you missing out on the next race or even the next season because of foot trouble. Protect it socks are specifically designed with runners in mind, so are made to fit like a glove, with no bagging or pinching. So the only thing left to think about is how far you want to run today, not how long have I got before my feet start to rub? With marathon season approaching I thought it might be good to put together some tips to get your marathon season off to a good start.

1. Get gait tested - Gait analysis testing is where someone looks at the way you run and advises you for shoes accordingly. If you're a couple of months out from a race, a gait test could help with racing and training comfort.
2. Don't change your shoes before a marathon - This rule might seem like it goes against number one, but what it means is don't change your shoes the night before you race. It can cause more harm than good when the foot is used to running one way and suddenly it's changed.
3. Wear Protect it socks - Which ever foot wear you choose, your socks are an extra layer of padding, moisture absorption and great foot protection between your skin and the shoe.
4. Think about your diet in the weeks leading up to your race - Many people think that if they eat a good meal (or heaven forbid not at all) before they're race then that's their diet sorted. But diet has the power to improve performance by up to 5%! Which could translate to minutes saved in a marathon!
5. Think about your post race diet for quicker recovery - The race might be over when you cross the finish line but it doesn't end there. The right food after the event can help you recover that much quicker.
6. Wear running gear with pockets - I love running clothes with pockets because it means you can carry handy things such as gels, your phone or music system and of course your diabetes kit.
7. Don't over do it - Many people are tempted to over train when it comes to marathon season, but sometimes less is more.
8. Listen to your body - your body is a good judge of when it needs a rest or when it needs to be pushed further, so listen to what it's saying.
9. Put in the training - I've met many marathon runners who have taken up the challenge as the result of a drunken bet. Thinking that they can turn up on the day and run like Mo. Not going to happen. So give yourself the best shot by putting in the training time.
10. Enjoy yourself and be proud of your achievement! 














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Meet The Author

My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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