Physiotherapist Tom Anthoney, recently completed his first full marathon, over 42km
He has been running for many years and completed multiple half marathons, 21 km.
But, running 42 km require some serious preparation !
Here, Tom shares the lessons he has learned about how to best prepare – to succeed and to enjoy the experience.
First Lesson, there is no substitute for training
As Physiotherapists we are all acutely aware of the impact on the body of repeated exercise.
The body has an amazing capacity to absorb load and to build strength and endurance when conditioned appropriately.
So good training is vital.
When an athlete reaches the age of 40, muscles are as strong as ever, but the ends of the muscles, the tendons, do not have as much capacity for storing and absorbing load.
Don’t get me wrong, tendons can tolerate load, they love it, as long as There are no huge surprises or changes in load.
He ran three times s week for 9 months.
He Increased the length of his long runs by no more than 10% per week.
So he ran 10km , then 11km, then12km and so on.
The longest run in training was 32km.
A seasoned veteran (and good client), explained that if you can run 30 km you can run 42, the last 10 to 12 about mental application.
He added some intervals (speed work ) once a week, and ran slowly on his other runs…. There’s lots of research about this.
Tom engaged the services of a local running coach, to look at his technique and improve his efficiency. Endurance events are all about being efficient and not wasting energy.
Two or three sessions with a running coach may only change 10% of how you run.
But at 10% improvement in efficiency and technique makes a big difference over 42km.
Running coaches help by looking at good technique, cadence and stride length.
Tom now applies these lessons “in clinic “ with his runners.
Good technique not only helps performance, but reduces load and strain on the body.
Lastly, Tom got good advice from friends and clients who have completed multiple marathons about fluid and energy supplements.
They suggested that salt replacement tablets/drinks or important on ( and prior to) these longer runs.
Good information can be found on the precision hydration website
Keeping up your energy levels also makes a massive difference. Tom was advised to have a gel, or equivalent to 60g of carbohydrate every 7km.
Tom followed this advice, drank water at every drinks station and completed the run without cramp and no real pain.
Tom would like to thank his friends and clients for their support.