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Laura's Marathon Training

It is Laura training - please croptwo months now until the big day! On April 7th, I will be running the Greater Manchester Marathon. You all know how much I love running, and you may have read or heard about last year’s training for the Shrewsbury Half Marathon. After breaking my ankle in October 2017, the half marathon was a challenge I set myself to get back fit and well. But now, onto the next challenge.

I have never run a full marathon before, so the race itself, along with the training is quite daunting. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love research. I have looked into training schedules, supplements, when to have rest days; pretty much anything you can think of, I have looked into. I like to ‘know’ what I’m doing, and have a solid plan to follow. Having this in place sets me at ease as I know I can stick to that plan and achieve my goal.

I am gradually building up my mileage each week, with steady increments in distance, and then an easier week in the mix to prevent any overloading of my body. I also have one session a week which is all about speed and sprints. These are my least favourite sessions, as they are so physically challenging. But for long distances, having these speed/sprint aspects in your training increases fitness and stamina. Both of which are very much needed to run a marathon!

I am still having weekly sessions with my personal trainer, continually working on general mobility, ankle and lower limb strength, and the (far too frequent) killer core session. The great thing about Ben (my PT) is he always pushes and challenges me, while keeping each session varied and fun – I’m never bored!

I continue to work on my flexibility and mobility with a daily yoga session. I love these sessions, as I can feel any restrictions or tightness that may need some extra TLC. Next time you see me, ask me about how any form of exercise ‘shortens’ the muscle used, and therefore needs stretching afterward.

I get checked and adjusted at least once a week from Dr Glenn, who is a master at keeping my nervous system tuned up and firing to its maximum potential. Just think, if I had a sluggishly working nervous system, how that would hamper my training and recovery!

When it comes to supplements, I think that everyone should take a few specific ones, alongside a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Specifically, Omega 3 fatty acids and a daily multivitamin. Interestingly, these are also the main supplements recommended for athletes. Also for athletes (depending on your sport) depends on what, how much and when you could take other supplements. I occasionally have a protein shake to aid recovery. During my longer runs, I also take an electrolyte mixture. This helps me stay hydrated, while replacing the essential ‘salts’ that my body needs, but I am also sweating out. But be careful! There are many fads and below par products on the market. Speak to myself or Dr Glenn before you buy.

The last, but still a very important aspect I have tried to improve is my rest and sleep. The most effective time for the body to regenerate and heal is during sleep. And some say that this only occurs during a certain spell of sleep. If we have disrupted sleep, we are likely to spend less time in this regenerative phase and therefore our recovery and growth will be below par. We have all had a night’s sleep where we have slept for a good amount of time, but still feel rough in the morning. So, to help myself, I have tried to have a more consistent routine of both going to sleep and waking up. To help with the quality and restfulness of sleep, I’m using guided meditation to help relax my mind and body, and send me off to sleep.

Over the remaining time I have before the marathon, I will be giving updates and sharing training videos, so you can see what I’m up to. The aim of me sharing this is to try and inspire you and others to become more active, dream big and achieve new goals and ambitions.

If you have any questions or would like help with your goals, ask myself (Dr Laura) or Dr Glenn at your next appointment. At SFC, we want to aid you to achieve your ambitions and help the Shropshire community as a whole to be happier and healthier.

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