Welcome to the Mike Varney Physiotherapy News and Advice blog

Marathon Q & A – Andrew Kitson

Andrew is a long-standing visitor to our clinic and has taken part in several marathons.  He is currently training for the Brighton marathon followed by a triathlon.  We asked him for some advice…….

How many times a week do you run when training for a marathon?

I try to limit my running to twice a week: normally a long run at the weekend and a shorter (faster) run midweek. However, I do tend to do some additional “social” running with friends which I treat as active recovery but I don’t consider as part of my training. I enter triathlons in the summer so I actually bike and swim within the week and I would recommend using a varied exercise programme and not just stick to running.

Do you have to adjust your diet when training and if so what kind of foods do you eat?

I do tend to be obsessive about my diet when training and I try to avoid foods and drinks which are sugary (including alcohol!). During the week, I tend to have porridge for breakfast, salad for lunch, and healthy carbs with my dinner (sweet potato, brown rice, brown pasta etc.) I also use a calorie tracker (MyFitnessPal) to ensure that I’m eating enough as it’s important to keep well fuelled!

When you “hit the wall” what pushes you forward?

“Hitting the wall” is usually the result of poor hydration / nutrition and once you’ve allowed yourself to get dehydrated it’s very difficult to get going again. I’m quite a heavy sweater so I try to work out how much water I need to drink per mile so I can stay hydrated. A good way of estimating this is to weigh yourself in Kg before and after a long run. Every Kg lost is likely to be lost water and suggests an extra litre might have been necessary to stay fully hydrated. E.g. If I did a 10 mile run and lost 0.8kg I would estimate that I should have drunk an additional 0.8litres on the run, so if I’d only drunk 500ml in that time I’d know that I probably should have drunk 1.3 litres = 130ml per mile (conditions on the day will clearly have an impact on this but it’s important to know roughly what you need to drink as the effects of dehydration will worsen as the distance increases!)

Do you have any advice for first-time marathon runners?

Invest in some good running shoes and go to somewhere where the people selling them know what they’re talking about. At the risk of sounding like I’ve been told to say it (which I assure you I haven’t) see a specialist if you get ANY type of injury and try to get a massage every 2 weeks.

For all your marathon treatments and advice just call the clinic on 01279 414959.

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