• Seven tips to prepare for a marathon

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    With both the Manchester and the London marathons coming up next month,˷e consulted Runner’s World to put together˯ur top seven preparation tips to get the best out of your training routine.

    Set achievable goals
    If youֲe a marathon newbie, approach it sensibly. The last thing you want to do is aim too highly and risk over-doing it or feeling disappointed crossing the finish line Рrunning a marathon should be a positive and rewarding experience. Focus on simply completing the 26.2 miles, or a slight improvement on your last time if youֶe ran one before.

    Listen to your body
    Do not ignore any pain or discomfort Рyou could be making a relatively small problem much, much worse. Any kind of injury will need time, patience and the correct procedure in order to make a full recovery. If your body is warning you, pay attention!

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    Improve race performance by tapering
    The process of reducing exercise ahead of the day of competition is known as մapering,ՠwhich can take place between three weeks and one week before the marathon. Focus on maintaining a consistent pace and conserving strength and energy for the big day, rather than embarking on long runs.

    Itֳ not all about running
    It will be helpful to avoid focusing solely on running and introduce other forms of exercise into your weekly routine. Cross training in sports such as swimming and cycling can help strengthen a variety of muscles and build overall fitness.

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    Make sure youֲe well-equipped
    Buying a nice new pair of running trainers a couple of weeks before the marathon is not such a good idea. Find out which clothes and shoes you feel most comfortable in and wear them during training to get used to them. Blisters caused by new shoes are not what you need during the race!

    Carbohydrates are key
    Carbs release energy into your body, so foods such as pasta, rice, potatoes, pancakes, bread and yoghurt are all important. Ճarb-loadingՠin the days approaching the marathon is common, and itֳ about ensuring a high percentage of your meals are carbohydrate-based, rather than consuming vast amounts of carbs with no specific order.

    Donִ be afraid to take a break
    Rest days are vital to include in your training routine. Itֳ generally not recommended to be running every single day and it will hinder your progress rather than help; take it easy before and after big runs in particular.

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