The marathon has become the most popular running race in America. The Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon hosts 30,000 plus runners in Phoenix each year. You can always start in a local race with a hundred runners or so. For some people a marathon can be an inner athlete goal while achieving the weight loss as well. Often times, the typical marathon training program is not set up for optimal weight loss. So we have listed the key aspects needed in a marathon training program to run a successful marathon and lose the pounds from the gut.
Key #1 Inner Athlete Goal
The best way to achieve weight loss is through athletic goals. They don’t have to be a marathon; they can even be playing with your kids at the park. Marathons do make great inner athlete benchmarks. Besides the training aspect, marathons bring social camaraderie, feeling of self confidence, and after finishing a race there is nothing like the feel of endorphins to make you want to do it again. Showing up for the marathon itself is an experience by itself. Big marathons have expos with the latest in fitness and diet apparel and news. Some also have dinners where you get to meet other runners from around the world. You will find as you train and run your marathon that you create unique experiences that propel you forward into being fit for life.
Key #2 Long Run Day
Every marathon training program has long run days. The problem with most of them is they have too many. To run a successful marathon you only need to do one long run day a week. A long run would consist of any run longer than 60 minutes Running more than 60 minutes multiple times during the week only adds to shins splints and other running over use injuries. If you can run long once, you can run long once in a race.
A major benefit from long running is the body’s ability to burn more fat. Organelles in your muscle cells called Mitochondria, which are the energy producing powerhouse of your cells, become bigger and more efficient allowing you to burn more energy on a daily basis. The two major physiological effects occur after 60 minutes and then 90 minutes of constant running. You get this benefit from only running this long once a week. Running this long too many times actually has the reverse effect. Be careful though, running over 60 minutes could cause injuries. If you are an inexperienced runner start with 15 minutes and work your way up. Most injuries occur because the body isn’t trained to withstand long runs. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Slowly increase your time and distance each week and take one week every couple of weeks to shorten your workout and let your body recover.
Key #3 Interval Workout
Often in marathon training programs they only put interval workouts in programs for elite runners. Actually, everyone would benefit from doing interval workouts at their own level. LIVE’s cardio workouts create a heart rate zone for every member and by using a heart rate monitor every person can complete interval workouts at their fitness level. Interval training is a short burst of high intensity cardio followed by a short burst at a lower intensity to recover, then you repeat. How many times you repeat your intervals and the time interval in high and low intensity varies on fitness level. Based on how you filled out your profile LIVE’s cardio program creates the optimal interval training program for you.
Interval workouts are considered the most efficient way to raise your metabolism and burn more fat. Statistics show that people burn more fat 24 hours a day after completing an interval workout. Interval workouts challenge your metabolism to produce energy faster than it has ever done before. After an interval workout your body adapts to burning more calories all day everyday.
Interval workouts should not exceed 30 minutes If you find that you are running longer than 30 minutes it is important to increase your speed and lower your rest times. Increasing speed creates a faster metabolism. The harder you challenge your body the greater it adapts and the faster your metabolism becomes. However, you have to be able to recover. If you go so hard that your heart rate stays elevated you need to stop and cool down. For the next workout do not push yourself to that high of a heart rate. For most people training in Zone 4 (LIVE’s Program creates your zones) is the optimal zone for raising your ability to burn more fat all day.
Key #3 Rest
All of your benefits occur while you are resting. You need to make sure to get adequate sleep each night and proper nutrition to optimize your results. Rest also means taking it easy when your body is in pain. Taking one day off isn’t going to kill your training program. When your body is really sore give it a day off. You will be surprised at how much better you feel and how better your training becomes. Pushing through serious pain only leads to injuries. I have personally seen people’s feet get put into boots because of injuries that could have been avoided by listening to their bodies and just taken a day off.
Cross training is a great way to take away the impact of running. Every time you step you send impact into your joints and bones. To much impact overtime is what creates runner’s injuries. Biking, elliptical trainers, or swimming can be great cardio workouts that save the wear and tear on your body once a week.
Need more support with your marathon training program; don’t worry that is why we are here. Ask questions to LIVE’s personal trainers in the message board and talk live to a personal trainer in the Live Lean Program. Your trainer can customize your Live Plan to a specific marathon for you to optimize your weight loss and marathon success. Also, LIVE’s dietician are available to answer all of your diet marathon questions. Enjoy training for you marathon with LIVE.