Top Tips on How to Gear up for a Marathon – an Interview with Personal Trainer, Josef Mizzi
Marathons and half marathons are a great way to put your fitness levels to the test. Of course, to be able to run over 42km you need to be prepared for the task. With the 2017 Vodafone Malta Marathon coming up, Laferla Insurance reached out to Josef Mizzi, a personal trainer, to understand how to properly train for the challenge. Josef has over 10 years of experience in fitness and relishes the chance to help other people reach their full potential.
Are you participating in this year’s Vodafone Malta Marathon? Read on to find out Josef’s words of advice to you.
If you’ve never run a marathon but wish to start training for next year’s events, here are some of the most effective ways to start.
First things first – The Three Ps
Before you start any physical training, you first need to prepare yourself mentally. This is very important as the physical side can sometimes be gruelling and it may take time before you start noticing any results. According to Josef, there are three main qualities to keep in mind before and during training: patience, persistence and pride. He states that, “Patience is important for when progress seems slow, persistence offers the athlete more control and understanding regarding his/her progress and pride allows the athlete to visualise the win”.
Where to Start
Anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can run a marathon, as long as they train properly. However, Josef recommends that a visit to your local GP is the first step to take. Your doctor will be able to give you a clear indication of whether you are fit enough for the challenge. From here, you can identify how much time you need to build your stamina and fitness levels before taking on a marathon. According to Josef, “It’s important to allow sufficient time for your body to adjust and improve before actually committing to a marathon.”
The Training Regime
So how long should you spend training before you can take on the challenge? According to Josef, the average person should spend about 8 months training for a 10-15km marathon. Once the athlete reaches the 8 month mark, s/he will find it much easier to train for a 42km run. Josef highlights a simple yet effective way to train:
- Challenge yourself by increasing your running distance by a few kilometers every couple of weeks. This enables the body to adjust to long distance running.
- Every few weeks aim to run a shorter distance at a faster pace.
- Finally, take time to rest and recover after every workout. Also, make sure to take the right supplements to help with the process.
Your Diet is Key
“When it comes to training for a marathon, nutrition is key towards top performance.”
Josef mentions that one should never train on an empty stomach, or a full stomach for that matter. It’s important to strike a good balance between the two. A light meal that is rich in simple and complex carbohydrates will allow for a slow release of energy.
You can also add protein to your meal to keep you fuller for longer. However, it’s important to use your training runs to see what food best suits you. By experimenting with different foods, you will find what gives you the most energy to finish a race in the best possible shape.
Words of Advice for the Vodafone Malta Marathon Participants
The Vodafone Malta Marathon is fast approaching. Here are a few words of wisdom for those partaking. “My advice is simple, stay calm and run. You have spent the past months training for this day and you know you are able to finish it and perhaps even clock in an impressive time.” If this is your first time running a marathon, Josef advises you to listen to your body and be aware of the usual danger signs when running. Chest pains and severe shortness of breath, lightheadedness and severe fatigue are all signs that the body is reaching its threshold, so take care if any of these symptoms pop up during your run.
Stay Safe and Have Fun!
Running is a fantastic way to keep in shape and can be a lot of fun too. There is nothing better than the satisfaction you feel when crossing the finish line . Make sure to pace yourself though, so as to avoid pushing your body to its limits. For peace of mind, get covered with Health Insurance. Whether you’re aiming to set a new personal record or running a whole marathon, Laferla is rooting for you along the way! Get a free health insurance online quote today!