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Preparation and Recovery Tips for the Airtricity Dublin Half Marathon

Preparation and Recovery Tips for the Airtricity Dublin Half Marathon

20Sep

Dublin Half Marathon

The Dublin half marathon takes place on September 24th in the Phoenix Park. If you are planning on taking part, hopefully you have already signed up as the event is now sold out.

When planning to run the Dublin half marathon there are things to think about before, during and after the race.

Hopefully the bulk of your training is now complete and you are into the tapering stage before race day. Concentrate now on shorter runs, stretching and foam rolling to ensure your body is ready and muscles have fully recovered. Any additional long runs, hill runs or speed training will not make a difference. They could possibly make the run more difficult on race day. In the week prior to the half marathon, try to avoid alcohol and keep hydrated.

Practice running in what you plan on wearing come race day. This will help identify whether your running top/shorts are likely to chafe or whether the material can keep you cool over the course of the run.

Another thing, which you should test before race is eating energy gels as you run. This is needed to identify which products agree with your system, as they can often cause an upset stomach. Avoid mixing a sports drink with a gel or jelly beans, and always try to take your gel with water.

Lay out everything you need the night before your race e.g. bib, safety pins, clothing, socks, headband etc. This will help avoid unnecessary stress and panic on race morning if you can’t find what you need. If it is a cold or wet morning, take an old jacket/black bag which you can throw away just before the start. The day before, try eating carbs in small portions throughout the day, rather than polishing off a huge bowl of pasta the night before the race.

Post Marathon

As soon as you finish the run, do your best to keep moving and walking for 10-15 minutes afterwards, no matter how tempting it is to drop to your knees. This will allow you heart rate to drop gradually, circulation to return back to its resting state and flush your muscles of all the lactic acid that has built up. Get some warm clothes on you as soon as possible as you are likely to get cold quite quickly.

Ensure you eat something small within 30 minutes of finishing running. Refuelling is best immediately after exercise as the body is eager to absorb energy. Try to eat easily digested calories to maintain blood sugar levels, increase glycogen and repair muscle tissue e.g. bananas, yoghurts and high carbohydrate foods. Eat your bigger meal later in the day when your appetite returns.

If you can tolerate it, soak in a cold bath for 5 – 10 minutes when you get home, and try wearing compression tights for the rest of the day. This helps decrease inflammation and lactic acid build up by improving circulation.

Running a half marathon places massive stress on your body so it is important to allow for sufficient recovery afterward. Not allowing enough recovery often leads to injuries and overtraining. Try to do more gentle forms of exercise in the days following the half marathon such as swimming, cycling or using the cross trainer.

If you have any niggles you need checked before or after the half marathon, contact us here to see one of our physiotherapists.

 

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