London Marathon: Keeping up momentum after a big race
PUBLISHED: 11:00 26 March 2018
London Marathon is fast approaching and you’ve been training for months. But, as with any big event, it’s just the beginning of your fitness journey. Islington personal trainer Nancy Best gives you some tips on staying motivated after the run
You’ve spent months pounding the pavement in the dark, battling snow, rain and blisters to prepare for the big day. You’re feeling strong, proud and more than a little relieved to have crossed that sacred finish line. But with the milestone complete, how easy is it to fall back into the folds of your wonderful sofa and struggle to get up again? Deceptively so, I’m afraid.
So before you fall into the trap of letting those Nikes gather dust, alongside the yoga mat you ordered last year but haven’t had a chance to unpack just yet, here are some simple ways to build on the epic momentum you’ve built to get you through the 26 miles.
1. Explore something new
Runners’ fatigue is very common after the big event. Hours of gruelling training can sometimes make you feel like you never want to jog again. So instead of forcing yourself on a 5K, why don’t you try a totally different sport? Your cardiovascular fitness will be solid, so why not put it to the test with a fresh challenge? Whether it’s spinning, boxing or climbing, be open minded and you may find a totally new passion.
2. Try sprint training
The benefits of HIIT (high intensity interval training) include improving your metabolic rate, torching fat and burning calories fast. Whether you want to practice on a treadmill, or outside, it’s important get your heart rate racing in short bursts of sweaty effort. Start with 20 second sets and incrementally build up to rounds of a minute, shortening your recovery period as you progress.
3. Get someone to motivate you
Break out of your usual routine with the help of an expert. Strength training complements the steady state cardio of jogging, so you can build lean muscle mass. A great trainer should inspire you and push you out of your comfort zone, so you don’t plateau after the marathon.
4. Improve your mobility
Tight hamstrings and sore knees are just some of the issues you may have experienced from long distance running. It’s tempting to stay sedentary and ignore any niggles once you’ve done the race, but your body will thank you for setting aside time to stretch regularly. Join a local yoga or pilates studio, or watch online tutorials, so you can be guided through a routine to increase your flexibility and relieve tension. If you suffer from stress or anxiety, you’ll also see real benefits to your mental health.
5. Sign up for your next challenge
Before you talk yourself out of it, put your name down for another long distance event, or try a triathlon. Raising money for a cause you believe in is the best motivation to get you back into the training regime, and there are lots of local running clubs to try out to help you prepare, making new friends in the process.
Give one of these a try and you’ll see your body is capable of incredible things, once you set your mind to it.
Nancy Best is a personal trainer based at a private studio in Islington, and a group fitness coach at F45 Islington. A passionate advocate for a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, Nancy develops specialised programmes that help her clients find body confidence.
Find out more at @nancy.best.training on Instagram, or call 07990815408.