September 15, 2017

The Standard Chartered Marathon 2017-Marathon Training Tips with David Thuo


A few weeks/days before a big race takes place, many people take to the roads or gyms to train for the race. This is the opposite of what training programs call for. The weeks before a race are meant to reduce the mileage covered per week. A marathon-training program takes around 10 weeks plus or minus.Keep it here for daily training tips.

Reasons we should start training early

Tip 1:Go through the aches

Starting early gives the body time to adjust to the aches that come with exposing the muscles to stress beyond what they are accustomed to and still have enough time after this phase to do intense training

Tip 2 Build mileage

Starting early gives enough time to slowly build up mileage without the risk of injury. There is a relationship between mileage run in a week and the marathon finish time The higher the mileage(up to a certain level based on the individual) the shorter the time it takes to run a marathon. Building this mileage too fast increases the risk of injury.

Tip 3 Ample brain conditioning

Starting early gives enough time for the brain to also condition to the workout routine.When you stick with  a routine for more than a few weeks,the brain conditions and working out becomes a habit. It forges new neurological pathways that help muscles repeat movements they’ve performed before. Your body’s ability to remember and repeat movements is called “muscle memory.”

Tip 4 Periodization

Starting early gives ample time for your training plan (see attached training plans) to progress through phases in order to optimally prepare you for your specific goal race. To maintain peak marathon or half marathon shape year round  you have to put in weeks of hard work that plays to your strengths, works on your weaknesses, and improves your specific endurance.

Tip 5 Taper

Starting early gives you enough time to taper (Tapering means reducing the volume of your weekly training mileage during the final two to three weeks leading up to the marathon). Tapering corrects the accumulated wear and tear of training, helps in replenishing the glycogen stores in the muscles and liver and bolsters the immune system. It is critical for reaching the start line in peak fitness and maximal energy levels.




Correct running shoes are a very important part of the running journey. Not only does the right shoe lessen the impact of your step and cushion your feet from the heavy landing, they are also very key in preventing some common running injuries.

New shoes should be phased into the running routine gradually to get the feet used to the shoes. An example is by using them on the shorter runs then eventually introducing them to the long runs.

Correct running attire keeps athletes comfortable and is designed with material that pulls (referred to as wicking) sweat from the body. Some examples are synthetic and polyester. Materials like Cotton on the hand hold sweat and become heavy causing friction leading to blisters and they make one cold and miserable. A good fit is also important.


First step is to decide what one wants in a running route and how much mileage or time one intends to cover each run and how many days in a week the runs will be.3 days well spaced out work well. When starting out, one is best off with a route with only a few elevation gains if any. There may be also the preference of trails, pavement or treadmill.

Once a decision is made, you can then set out to look for routes. You may benefit from routes set by others around you or you can map out your own. The routes and run timings should be convenient. Avoid areas with too much traffic due to risk of accidents and too much pollution. The route should be safe in terms of, animals, and potholes, not too isolated and should be well lit if running too early or a bit late.


It is important that the initial runs be a combination of runs and walks so that the body gets used gradually to avoid the risk of injury. Carry some water for hydration and inform someone of the route you shall be taking on the run. Warm up slowly, have a device to track the distance and start a log, which aids in tracking progress. Always have some identification on with a contact of a next of kin in the event that you get into an incident or accident

Avoid having earphones in your years so that you can have an all time situational awareness of your surroundings


It’s a very natural thing on a number of occasions to roll over and go back to bed if its only you in a run. Joining a group whether on every run or occasional runs say weekend or once a month helps in the following



 3.Running improvements


 5.Personalized advise

There is however an intimidation feeling when starting off because of feeling slow or fear of being last but this quickly fades off.


1.Warm up

This is the gradual increase in intensity of physical activity. It prepares the body for exercises by gradually increasing the heart rate and circulation, loosens the joints and reduces the potential for muscle and connective tissue injuries. Increased blood flow to the muscles enhances delivery of oxygen and nutrients promoting energy production required for vigorous activity.

Running too fast without warming up is a recipe for injury.

If you start out too fast, you run the risk of pulling a muscle, tweaking a tendon, bone, or joint, or getting into a pace that you can’t sustain

 2.Cool down

This is easy exercise after a hard workout that help the body transition gradually to rest or near rest condition. It helps the heart rate and breathing return towards resting levels gradually, helps avoid fainting or dizziness, which can result from blood pooling in the large muscles of the legs when vigorous activity is stopped suddenly and helps remove waste products from your muscles, such as lactic acid. It can involve a slow jog or walk amongst others.

While your cool-down should be easy enough that you won’t create much additional waste, your heart rate will stay sufficiently raised to send the healing and recovering effect of your circulatory system into double time. Blood clears out metabolic waste and hormones while proteins and white blood cells begin healing micro tears in the muscles.

3 Stretching

This is a form of physical exercise in which a specific muscle or tendon (or muscle group) is deliberately flexed to improve the muscle’s felt elasticity and achieve comfortable muscle tone(Wikipedia)

Pre workout stretching makes the muscles more elastic and less prone to injury.This should be done after warming up. Never stretch cold muscles.

Post workout stretching Helps constricted and contracted muscles release back to their more comfortable state and makes the body become more flexible, reducing chances of injury. It also improves blood circulation, helps eliminate lactic and prevent pain due to tight muscles, improves range of motion, increased muscular coordination, Mental clarity and mind-body connection. Bouncing while you stretch is to be avoided as it can stretch your muscles too far and too fast resulting in significant strain on your muscles.

 4 Sports massage

Sports massage prepares the athlete for their best performance, relieves muscle swelling, reduces fatigue, and relieves muscle tension.

Running requires sustained, repetitive muscle contractions which translates into speed, power, and distance allowing us to run further and faster. Due to overextension and/or overuse, minor injuries and lesions occur in these tissues that can cause a great deal of pain and poor athletic performance. Sports massage helps alleviate pain and prevent such injuries that greatly affect flexibility, mobility, response time, and overall performance in athletic events.Heavily exercised muscles may also lose their capacity to relax causing chronically tight muscles, and loss of flexibility.Masages can be performed by a sports physiotherapist or on self using a foam roller or tennis ball amongst others.

5 Sleep-the importance of the ZZZ hours

Sleep is a very important part of an effective training program- When sleeping, the body’s temperature and heart lowers and the entire body enters a stage of relaxation. During the deepest stage of sleep, the body releases growth hormones to repair muscle tissue. The muscles are paralyzed during this time to allow maximum repair.By not sleeping properly a runner makes it impossible for the body to adequately repair itself.

Getting at least eight hours of sleep a night is one of the first things to try when a runner experiences problems with injuries or endurance.

Sleep is also essential for a properly functioning immune system. This is why it is so important to sleep well when sick.


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