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So you're running in the Melbourne Marathon Festival - Now what?

You’ve done it! You’ve committed to running in the Melbourne Marathon Festival on Sunday 13 October. Now it’s time to get down to business and prepare your body for the exciting challenge ahead. Before you start training it’s important to take a moment to stop, plan and prepare. 

We are 12 weeks out, perfect time to start your training plan and put yourself in the best position possible for event day.

The following tips will help you, whether you are running a Full MarathonSriLankan Airlines Half MarathonASICS 10kmWestin 5km, or taking part in the 3km Walk.

Training and Preparation is key

Most programs, whether they be generic or custom, offer a structured program of 10-16 weeks that incrementally increases the distance and time spent running. The objective of the training program is to acclimatise your body to the increased running to reduce the risk of injury that can be bought on by doing too much too soon.

Just as we wouldn’t recommend cramming the night before an exam, we encourage you to pace your training correctly to get the best outcomes.

Take advantage of our 12 Week Science in Sport Training Plans and if in doubt, follow the 10% per week rule. Increase your distance by 10% per week and be sure to schedule in recovery days, if not weeks. Aim to make one out of every four weeks lighter to avoid injury and illness.

Be sure you are varying up your distances

Schedule both shorter runs; to allow your body to rest and recover and longer runs to get used to being on your feet for extended periods of time.

But before you can hit the track, it is crucial you have the right equipment

Get the right type of shoes for YOU!

 Your footwear is what will make or break your race day, and your race prep. It is crucial you are wearing shoes fitted specifically for you! Your feet are as unique as your fingerprint. What works for one runner won’t necessarily be right for you.

The key to finding the best fit for you is understanding your individual biomechanics. The podiatric trained team at Active Feet can analyse your gait, running/walking speed and analyse the cushioning and support you need to suit your biomechanical function. We can prescribe the right shoes for you.

New shoes will need to be fitted 4-6 weeks before the event so that you have time to break them in. It can be a good idea to introduce a second shoe and alternate between pairs. Shoe rotation has many benefits – as illustrated here.

Visit one of the Active Feet stores at Prahran, Camberwell, Heathmont and Sandringham to get expert advice today.

Handy Tip: Every entrant in the Melbourne Marathon Festival 2019 is entitled to $50 OFF any adult running shoe at Active Feet!

Don’t forget the rest of your kit

It is important to consider your race day and training kit, head to toe. It may sound simple, but choosing the right socks and running apparel is a very important aspect of both training and event running.

Technical socks are crucial to both your comfort and performance. Brands like ASICS2XUExperia, Lightfeet, Feetures and Balega have developed socks specifically for runners that work to keep feet dry, cushioned and supported. Managing heat and moisture is crucial to avoid dreaded blisters. Again, like shoes there is no one sock that will be right for every runner. We recommend trying a few brands, styles and thicknesses in the lead up to the event so that you can find your perfect style.

Handy tip: The Active Feet Melbourne Marathon Essentials Pack features both the Balega Ultralight Contoured Fit Sock and the Enduro V-tech more cushioned sock. This pack is a great way to sample two different technical sock styles at a significantly reduced price to help you make your race day sock choice easier.

 Compression wear and technical apparel are essential in both the training and event stages of your journey. Look to brands like ASICS and 2XU for race wear designed specifically for runners. Moisture wicking fabric helps to keep you dry and cool when running to avoid overheating and painful chaffing. Compression wear encourages blood flow to the extremities to increase energy production, helps support muscle groups to decrease fatigue during activity. The other great application of compression wear is to aid a speedy recovery by encouraging blood flow to your tired muscles.

Handy Tip: It may sound unconventional, but many runners will sleep in their compression wear to speed up their recovery process after a tough training session

Ladies – Make sure you are wearing the right sports bra. Not only is it uncomfortable and distracting if you are wearing the wrong bra; but it can throw your gait off if you are adjusting your body to compensate for the movement the wrong bra produces. Specialty sports bra retailers like She Science can help you find the right bra for your activity level and allow you to wear test the bras to ensure you are happy with the fit. So, you can focus on the run and not the bounce!

Fuel your fire!

Nutrition, hydration and recovery are vital to your success. You are expending a huge amount of energy and need to ensure you are stoking your engine to guarantee adequate recovery and muscle strength development.

There are some great diet plans out there designed specifically for runners and those training for long distance events.

Experts suggest consuming gels and hydration sports drinks during long or hard workouts to keep you hydrated and going strong. Secondly, be sure to replenish your nutrition in the 30-minutes post workout/ run window.

Aim for a 3 to 1 protein to carbohydrate ratio. The carbohydrates work to replenish your energy supply and the protein aids in muscle repair.

Specific sports nutrition brands like Science in Sport are tailored specifically for runners like you – so take advantage of this.

Handy tip: The Active Feet Melbourne Marathon Race Ready Pack includes a range of our favourite hydration, nutrition and recovery products that we recommend as part of a successful training and race day routine.

Don’t ignore the niggles

Act on aches and pains early to avoid race ending injuries. Again, it sounds simple but how often do you hear of people who thought it was a simple strain and kept pushing their bodies to breaking point? The pain is there for a reason, so listen to your body.

Take time to rest. Use ice baths to alleviate inflammation and ease sore muscles. If ice baths aren’t possible then a warm bath with Epsom salts will work wonders too.

Seek out professionals early if you think it might be something more serious. Prevention is always better than treatment. Active Feet work with an extensive network of local healthcare referrers, and you can find the right clinic and practitioner for your specific needs through our Referrer Directory HERE

Handy tip: If you’re not sure of the severity of your pain, try the single leg hop test. If you cannot perform 6 pain free leg hops on each leg then there is a high probability you could have be suffering from an overuse injury. If in doubt? See a professional – sooner rather than later. You’ll thank us come race day!

 Remember that it will be tough – but you can do it!

Don’t forget to reach out to your fellow Melbourne Marathon runners. Find a running buddy, enlist your cheer squad or why not join the ASICS training series? Motivation and encouragement is key.

You are training to do something extraordinary. So be proud, stay strong and get running.

Visit us at the Active Feet Runners Expo! And don’t forget to enter to win $2,500 of Expo Essentials HERE.