Okay that’s pushing it! It is almost impossible to achieve this feat in 7 days. Experts propose that you need a minimum of 24 weeks, that is 6 months, to go from doing no exercise at all, to running and finishing a marathon. But hey, in the upcoming Access Bank Lagos City marathon, you have the chance to begin your marathon journey. The marathon is on February 2, 2019, that is in exactly 7 days! So here’s how to go about it:
Be realistic: First of all, there is no way you are running 42 km with only 7 days prior preparation, so why not go for the second option. The #LagosCityMarathon has 2 parts. The 10 km run, and the 42 km run. Cut your coat according to your cloth, by preparing for the 10 km race. You don’t have to win, but if you can perform some form of magic, sure, you can aim for the prize money of N3 million.
Go Easy: Yeah, I know you only have a short period of time to prepare, but you cannot cheat your body. You need a step-by-step plan, which involves a three-zone intensity scheme. Start with Easy pace – this involves a slow jog that allows you to speak full sentences without losing your breath. It is almost like walking but with a bounce. Spend about 2 hours doing this until you break a lot of sweat and try to dedicate 4 hours to it a day. 2 hours in the morning and 2 at night. Do this for 2 days.
Pick up the pace: You do know that to get in shape for a marathon in seven days, you need to go through some intense training right? Alright, so you cannot dwell on the easy pace for long. By day 3, you have to pick up the pace. Go with the moderate pace, at which you feel in control of your breathing, but if you went any faster you’d begin to strain. This is where you begin to actually really jog, but with the aim to cover a lot of distance. Another 2 hours each morning and evening for 2 days will be fine here. If you have more time and longevity, you can increase your hours.
Go hard: So we have gone through over half the days left to prepare. Now, you need to start training hard. This means you are actually running at your highest pace. It means running almost as fast as you can (90 percent of your max). This means you will run faster for 30-second hard efforts versus 3-minute ones, but you should complete both workouts feeling as though you could have given only 10 percent more. This is what you will do for the rest of the days of preparation for the marathon. Go hard!
Intense workouts: You cannot just run everyday and expect your body to catch up fast enough. You have to include some workouts to your sessions to boost your muscles, elasticity and longevity. This is a crash course preparation for a marathon, remember?
Food: You better not expect to be ready for the marathon if you will continue to feed on all the wrong calories and fats. You have to dedicate your entire self to the routine and preparation. Eat the healthy proteins, but steer clear of takeouts. Do more smoothies for a good cleanse, eat lots of vegetables, get rid of rice, yam, beans and other unhealthy carbohydrates. They make you too heavy to exercise.
Keep a training log: Take note of what you eat, your mileage, your heart rate, running hours, pace, workout times, and everything else. This helps you register how much improvement you are making everyday, if any and to know when to rest. Don’t give yourself a heart attack on account of a marathon.
Rest: This is super important: If your body is tired and feeling over exerted, then it is over exerted. Rest please. It is as important as the entire workout procedure.
Resist temptation: When you are training for a thing like the marathon, you begin to eat right, workout, which makes you feel good with yourself, your achievements, and your progress. You are in a happy place. You are committed to something and staying true to it. It is easy to get high on the excitement and decide to slip. Don’t. It is bad enough that you are going from no workout to suddenly preparing for a marathon. The shock is enough for your body already, don’t get it confused by going back to your bad eating habits or taking a day off to go back to the couch. It will tell on you. Stay on the right path and you will excel.
Come back and share your success story in our comments section.