Clonmel solicitor Kieran Cleary is a regular participant in the Dublin City Marathon and between now and the race will be advising first-time marathon runners how they can prepare for the race.
This week he introduces the regime -
As a veteran of over 35 years taking part in and training for the Dublin City Marathon, the following is an itinerary that I and my running friends have used all that length of time to enable us to complete the training for the Marathon.
A marathon is of course a 26 mile voyage of discovery and anyone can complete this event.
There are no time trials, no speed tests, it is just a test of endurance and the only person that you are competing with is yourself. Anyone of any age providing that they have at least 12 weeks concentrated training can complete the marathon as long as they stick rigidly to the training schedule and are reasonably moderate with their diet and drinking habits.
Any intending participant should really attend their doctor for a full personal NCT, you should always do this on a yearly basis regardless but for this event it is very important to have this done.
Having completed your personal NCT the next item on the agenda is to purchase a top class set of running shoes, do not under any circumstances go to a chain store and buy them, they should be bought in one of the top class sports shop and as this is your only outlay in the whole event I would suggest approximately 70 – 100 euro should be paid for the best shoes available.
Always buy shoes one size too large for you because when running on the roads which you will be your feet will swell and there is nothing worse than a cramped foot.
Having purchased your running gear you are now ready to start training and the training schedule although initially will be a little uncomfortable, after a few weeks you suddenly realise how superbly fit you are. The training itself is also seriously good for your health and anyone under pressure or under stress in their work place or with family or otherwise really should take up marathon training, it is fantastic for the relief of stress.
Running is the only sport where you don’t need to be in a club, pay green fees in fact it costs absolutely nothing. We are very fortunate here in South Tipperary to have some great areas for running and those fortunate enough to live near Clonmel have the facility provided free in Powerstown Park which is a one and a half mile lap and this is open 24/7, every one should use it, even it is only twice a week.
Prior to commencing your running on each occasions there are stretching exercises which are basic but absolutely crucial and these take the form of standing bare foot on a step, say on the last step of your stairs on one leg and throwing your body back with all the weight on the calf of that leg and holding it for 20 seconds, this should be done with the left and right leg for 3 – 4 goes. Everything is done slowly and controlled, never ever strain yourself doing these exercises.
The other exercise which is very important is standing with the back of a chair facing you, put one leg on the back of the chair and stretch forward, preferably your left leg to start with and stretch forward with your right hand touching your calf or toes if possible and again hold for 20 seconds and repeat this exercise 3 to 4 times left and right. Also these stretching exercises should be done before and after each run.
In relation to the general health, smoking should really be abandoned while the training is in progress but your diet does not really matter because with all this exercising you will certainly lose weight and of course a little bit of alcohol is good for the well being, you have to live too.
The following schedules have worked for me for over 35 years and for some of my fellow marathoners here in South Tipperary but it is very important that if you are training never ever train less than three times a week, anything less is absolutely futile and you really should never train over 5 times per week.
In the event of missing a day, forget it, it is just a day gone, it is not a crisis, just start off the next day. But if for some reason you are injured or on holidays and have to skip a week well then go back a week. You will catch up very quickly but don’t try and push it in that marathon running is always done at a jogging pace and you should really be able to engage in a conversation if you have a running companion but never ever run to exhaustion.
You will find that after four weeks of running on the flat that you are well able to then take up a hilly course and this is very important for your own well being but again if in difficulty while on a run just walk, for instance if you are doing a 4 mile run stop for a walk after maybe one mile or 2 miles, for the first week you may be a little embarrassed but you will find that after a few weeks you won’t need any rest that you are actually getting quite fit without realising it.
Marathon training is quite superb and I would certainly recommend it to any one in that we have 16 hours of day light at the moment and there really is no excuse for saying that I have no time, you also only need 4 days per week maybe 5 and every one should give an hour a day certainly as they get older to maintaining a really good health life style.
The total outlay for the marathon training is €50 for the doctor and maybe €100 for your runners, not a lot of money to keep fit.
See you in three weeks time, just do it.
TRAINING ScheduleS FOR DIFFERENT times
Time 3 hours to 4 hours Marathon
Monday 4m; Tuesday 4m; Wednesday 4m; Thursday rest; Friday 8m; Saturday 6m
Monday 4m; Tuesday 6m; Wednesday 5m; Thursday rest; Friday 6m; Saturday 8m
Monday 6m; Tuesday 6m; Wednesday 6m; Thursday rest; Friday 8m; Saturday 12m
Time 4 to 5 hours Marathon
Monday 4m; Tuesday 4m; Wednesday 3m; Thursday rest; Friday 3m; Saturday 4m
Monday 3m; Tuesday 4m; Wednesday 3m; Thursday rest; Friday 4m; Saturday 4m jog
Monday 4m; Tuesday 4m; Wednesday 4m; Thursday rest; Friday 6m; Saturday 4m
Time 5 to 6 hours Marathon
Monday 3m; Tuesday rest; Wednesday 3m; Thursday rest; Friday 3m; Saturday 4m
Monday 3m; Tuesday rest; Wednesday 3m; Thursday rest; Friday 3m ; Saturday 4m
Monday 4m; Tuesday rest; Wednesday 4m; Thursday 4m; Friday rest; Saturday 4m