Whether you are new to long distance running or a close protection operative who has performed before the marathon is a hard event to train for and requires dedication, time and effort to ensure you can last the distance and perform in a good time.
First things first
Running 26.2 miles is a big ask for anyone and the first thing you should do is ensure that you are fit and healthy enough for the task. If you haven’t run this kind of distance before then we would always recommend that you visit your GP to get the once over.
Get a shoe in
When you are doing any kind of running you should always make sure that your training shoes are a good fit and that they are comfortable. Overtraining in new shoes or ones that are ill-fitting can cause blisters and other injuries which could hamper your training schedule. Go to a specialist sports shop and get fitted for a decent pair of running shoes.
Build up the distance
You will need to build up your stamina and endurance levels for a big race like a marathon and, depending on how long you have to prepare you will need to set yourself targets to achieve longer and longer runs. Aim for at least two runs per week, ideally more, with one or two being focussed on length and the others being a maintenance run of half an hour or so. Ultimately you need to be able to perform 80-90% of the distance by at least two weeks prior to the big day.
Get in the right head space
A lot of bodyguards who run long distances for the first time fail to appreciate how boring the run can be and, if you don’t have anything to distract yourself, how difficult you can make it seem in your own mind. It’s important to focus on small goals and to try and use things like music, visualisation and using positive internal language to keep you on track.
When you are training for big events like this close protection staff always remember to get carbohydrates into their diet to help with the energy depletion but you should not neglect good quality protein to provide your muscles with the fuel they need to repair and grow. Don’t forget to stay well hydrated too.
Ease into the big day
When it comes to the week before the race you should not be training in excess of a couple of short runs to keep your muscles limber. Try to avoid stressful situations and make sure that you get enough sleep. You should avoid alcohol but instead focus on getting good nutritious meals inside you without overeating!
The day itself
Have a good breakfast or meal at least four hours before the race which is high in carbohydrates. Something like porridge, granola or bagels with some fruit should be great. Use anti-chaffing cream and be sure to have a few jelly babies or a power bar to carry with you. Treat yourself every mile to boost your sugar levels and always carry some water if the event doesn’t provide you with any.