What A Marathon Runner Does Not

As a marathon runner myself, I am often asked about the things I do to prepare for a race and maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, today I want to shift our focus to what a marathon runner does not do. There are certain misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding marathon runners, so let’s dive deep into what we don’t do.

We Don’t Just Run All the Time

Contrary to popular belief, marathon runners don’t spend every waking moment running. While running is a significant part of our training, it is not the only activity we engage in. To maintain a well-rounded fitness level, marathon runners also incorporate strength training, cross-training, and flexibility exercises into their routines. We understand the importance of strengthening our muscles, improving our cardiovascular endurance, and preventing injuries.

We Don’t Neglect Rest and Recovery

Another misconception is that marathon runners push themselves to the limit every day without taking any rest days. In reality, rest and recovery are vital components of our training. We listen to our bodies and prioritize proper rest to allow for muscle repair and growth. This includes getting enough sleep, taking scheduled rest days, and incorporating active recovery activities such as yoga or light stretching into our routines.

We Don’t Overlook Nutrition

Fueling our bodies properly is crucial for marathon runners, and we don’t take nutrition lightly. Contrary to the image of a runner constantly eating pasta, we focus on a well-balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. We pay attention to our energy needs, ensuring we have enough fuel for our runs and recovery. Hydration is also a top priority to maintain optimal performance.

We Don’t Neglect Cross-Training

While running is the primary activity for marathon training, we understand the importance of cross-training. Engaging in activities such as swimming, cycling, or strength training helps to prevent overuse injuries, improves overall fitness, and enhances our performance as runners. By incorporating cross-training, we can build strength, improve cardiovascular fitness, and give our running muscles a break.

We Don’t Skip Prehab and Injury Prevention

Marathon runners are no strangers to injuries. However, we take proactive measures to prevent them. We prioritize prehabilitation exercises, such as foam rolling, stretching, and strengthening exercises that target our weak areas. By addressing imbalances and weaknesses, we reduce the risk of injuries and improve our overall performance.

We Don’t Neglect Mental Strength

Running a marathon is not just a physical challenge; it’s a mental one as well. We don’t neglect the importance of mental strength and psychological preparation. We work on techniques such as visualization, positive self-talk, and mindfulness to push through tough moments during training and races. Building mental resilience is just as important as physical training.

We Don’t Give Up

One thing you won’t find in the mindset of a marathon runner is the inclination to give up easily. We face obstacles, setbacks, and moments of self-doubt, but we persevere. We understand that progress takes time and that every training run is a step closer to our goal. The determination and resilience that marathon runners possess extend beyond race day.

In conclusion, being a marathon runner is not just about running long distances. We have a holistic approach to our training, incorporating strength training, rest and recovery, nutrition, cross-training, injury prevention, and mental fortitude. So next time you come across a marathon runner, remember that there is more to us than meets the eye. We are dedicated, disciplined, and always striving to be the best version of ourselves.