When you sign up to a marathon, you begin to start asking a lot of questions, especially when it comes to the training side of things. For instance, you may wonder about where you can get a training plan to suit your personal level of fitness and race-day goals, or you might be worried about staying motivated in your fitness journey. Many people are also concerned about the possibility of sustaining an injury whilst training, and wonder what do to in the event that this occurs.
For those marathoners who are new to the marathon distance, as well as new runners in particular, there are many things to consider when preparing yourself physically and mentally to be able to cross the finish line on race day.
If you’ve spoken to anyone who has completed a marathon before, they might have told you that they found the training program more difficult than the race itself. Although this may make it sound like over-training for marathon day is common, it actually signifies that adequate physical preparation is essential.
When the 10km training run you do as your long run becomes the distance you complete on an ‘easy’ day, you’ll realise just how far your body has come in terms of its endurance abilities, and you’ll thank yourself for all of the hard work you’ve put into your training schedule!
For some, simply finding a marathon plan and working towards building up stamina isn’t enough to stay on track – this is where a personal trainer comes in.
Personal trainers are often associated with those who want personal coaching from a health professional in order to tone up or build muscle, but they can also help athletes working towards a specific event, too.
So, whether you’d like someone to lead you through your training plan, or you’d simply like hire a professional to help you get the most out of your marathon experience, read on to find out more about how personal trainers can help with preparing for race day.
What is a Personal Trainer?
The dictionary definition of a personal trainer is as follows:
a person employed by someone to give advice and guidance on exercise and fitness
So, a personal trainer is a professional whose job it is to guide their clients towards their goals by providing training plans, one on one coaching and nutritional advice to support their workouts.
People hire personal trainers for a variety of reasons. For instance, those working towards a goal weight may want someone to create a tailored fitness and diet plans to help them get there. Likewise, those who struggle to stay motivated when getting in shape may call on a PT to hold them accountable for their choices and give them a reason to go to the gym on a regular basis.
Having a personal trainer is also a perfect option for those that find it difficult to fit into gym classes, whether it be because of their availability or due to a lack of self-confidence, for example.
When it comes to marathon running, many people find that hiring a personal trainer London not only helps them approach their goal in a safe and effective way, but having a PT also helps them to stay on track with their training. In addition to providing guidance with a training plan, personal trainers are also there to answer their client’s questions, which may be specific to them.
The beauty of having a personal trainer is the tailored approach. One-size-fits-all rarely works for everyone, and with a personal coach, the only size that matters is yours!
Why is Marathon Training so Important?
As lots of marathoners will tell you, there’s far more to a marathon than the race itself – the real challenge is the training. However, the fact that you will likely find your training regime more gruelling than running the marathon distance doesn’t mean that you should put in less effort into your training. In fact, the reason that so many people say that training is the most difficult part if because they are looking at their journey in hindsight when they are in shape to complete a half marathon with ease, whereas 13 miles would have been far more taxing before training.
In short, sticking to a good training plan when you’re preparing for a marathon is essential to get the most out of race day in terms of enjoyment and your sense of achievement.
When it comes to your personal wellbeing, too, training properly will significantly reduce the risks of injury on race day, as your body will have worked out and repaired any weaknesses you may have. It may also take some time to get used to running for an extended period of time; when you run, you use your muscles in a completely different way than when you walk, so training can help you find and get comfortable with your running style.
Training isn’t just important for avoiding injury, it’s also essential for improving your cardiovascular health so that your heart and lungs can keep up with your legs on race day.
Another benefit to training (which is often forgotten) is the mental preparation for running such a long distance. Covering so many miles takes a long time, and on race day, you might be on the route for more than six hours – this is why it’s essential that your mental stamina matches your physical endurance. Being able to take your mind off the miles as you progress towards the finish line is a skill that can only be learnt by getting yourself out of the door and running.
Running a Marathon: How Can a PT Help?
We’ve already seen how personal trainers can help people to achieve certain fitness or weight loss goals, but what do they have to offer when it comes to marathon training?
Although personal trainers are typically associated with weight loss and bodybuilding, they can also offer advice on training for certain events in various sports.
When it comes to long-distance running, personal trainers focus not only on increasing the distances of training runs in a safe and effective way, but also advising clients on fuelling and refuelling their bodies before and after their runs. Although focussing on diet when training might seem a little unnecessary (you’re burning off all of those excess calories during your runs anyway…), giving your body the nutrients and hydration it needs to be able to build up stamina and recover from physical exertion is essential for a successful training period.
Not only will your personal trainer help you get your body fit for race day, but they will also coach you on approaching each step of the race, including setting a good marathon pace and knowing what to do when you ‘hit the wall’.
Marathon Training Plan: What to Expect
If you’ve done any research into marathon training plans, you’ll see that many of them follow the same sort of pattern. While these plans have been created by specialists, they may not be the optimum training plan for every marathoner – this is where personal trainers come in.
Your first personal training session will involve you and your personal coach getting to know each other in terms of your fitness levels and their training philosophy.
During your first meeting, you and your PT will discuss how they can help you achieve your marathon goal, whether it be completing the race in a certain time or simply making it across the finish line.
Once you and your personal trainer have discussed your specific needs and they have assessed your level of fitness, they will draw up a plan which details your workouts (both running and cross-training at the gym) and the steps you should be taking in order to promote a quick recovery from running. Such things include stretching and foam rolling after a run as well as making sure that you consume enough calories to fuel your training.
How Much does a Personal Trainer Cost?
Personal trainers are typically associate with those who live a life of luxury, so, naturally, you might assume that the rates of every personal trainer are out of reach for the majority of people – but think again – every personal trainer is different in their approach to what they do, and this variety is also evident in the pricing for personal training sessions.
Prices for running coaches vary hugely, but you can expect to pay upwards of £40 per month for their help.
And if this is out of your price range, never fear! There are plenty of cheaper options such as training apps, for example.