Prepare for marathon season

2 February 2016  |  Alex

“April is the cruellest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land.” Thus begins TS Eliot’s modernist masterpiece ‘The Waste Land’ and for people interested in running a marathon, this sentiment is definitely true. Three of the biggest British marathons all take place in April (London, Brighton and Manchester) and for anyone looking to take on this galling challenge, the prospect can be terrifying.

Twenty-six miles is a daunting distance for anybody to run and yet thousands of people do just that every year. Inspired by the legendary tale of Phidippides dash from Athens to Marathon (and back) the modern marathon is one of the peak accomplishments of many runners. While Phidippides ended up dying from exhaustion for his troubles, there are a number of products available today that can ensure a better outcome for you.

At Think Sport, we have a number of products that are designed to help you make the most of your runs. With a task as strenuous as a marathon, the difference between a personal best and a blowout can hinge on something as simple as a good night’s rest before the race; having the right pair of shorts; or even eating the right snacks.

Natural Nutrition

Every sportsperson knows that whatever you put into your body has a direct correlation to the performance that you get out of your body. Nutrition is every bit as important as training or having the right pair of running shoes. Making sure that you have the energy to finish a marathon is a balancing act – you need the short bursts of energy provided by sugar as well as the lasting slow burn of carbohydrates.

One product that we provide that is ideal for those running a marathon is the Honey Stinger range. As the name suggests, Honey Stinger products utilise the natural sweetness of honey to provide you with the quick burst of energy that you need to outstrip the competition. While some energy products are designed for function rather than for taste, this cannot be said about the delicious range of Honey Stinger treats. With products including waffles, energy chews and power bars, whatever your taste, you can get the energy you need.

Great Garms

No-one running a marathon looks at their best – you are sweaty, out of puff and (more likely than not) every fibre of your being is going to be in agony. But just because you’re not looking 100%, it doesn’t mean that your outfit shouldn’t be on fleek, whether it is on fleek in terms of looks or on fleek in terms of performance.

While looking stylish is only a superficial part of running, it is a part of running nonetheless and we have the products that you need to ensure that you’re looking sharp and running swift. Brands like More Mile have a range of running clothes – for both women and men – that are practical and stylish.

Though it’s not pleasant to talk about, one of the main things that men require from a running shirt is one that is nice to nipples. When cotton shirts become wet, they have a tendency to cling to skin and this, combined with the jostling associated with 3 hours plus of running, can literally rub your nipples raw. The only thing worse than the pain of running a marathon is the pain of running a marathon coupled with the pain of chaffing. Our running garb is all specially designed to ensure that friction is kept to an absolute minimum, preventing (as far as possible) any discomfort and pain on the track.

Stop Seizing

As much as running a marathon hurts your body while you’re doing it, it can hurt even more in the days following. Muscles can become stiff and you might find that even taking more than a couple of steps leaves your legs throbbing in agony. The key to avoiding this trouble can be ensuring that you take the right precautions after your run to ensure that you’re recovery is made as easy as possible.

One product that can provide both agony and ecstasy to a runner is a foam roller. Foam rollers provide a deep, targeted massage to muscles and help to prevent fatigue and cramping after you’ve been running. The TriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller is one of the most popular on the market at the moment and provides you with a versatile way to deal with muscle pain across a number of areas. Calves, quads, hamstrings – all of the most important muscles for running can be easily exercised with this one-stop solution.

Ice & RICE

Ice, ice and ice again! Whether you are training for your big run or running your big run, ice is the answer to a lot of your problems. Used as part of the R.I.C.E system (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), your recovery will be quicker and more effective, getting you back to peak fitness without having to wait. Icing sore muscles encourages the body to divert blood to the affected area, which in turn helps to repair and strengthen the damaged muscle.

Here at Think Sport, we know the importance of cryotherapy and moreover, we know that there’s more than one way to ice an injury. We stock products that include everything from simple ice packs, suitable for direct application to the affected area, to products like the Donjoy CryoCuff, which features an anatomical design for specific areas, ensuring that you’re getting 360° coverage that allows for greater cooling.

Good Products, Great Determination

Even though we like to blow our own trumpet, even the fantastic range of sports equipment at Think Sport wouldn’t claim to turn you into Dennis Kimetto. Running a marathon is mostly about having the determination to run, to push through that pain barrier when you feel as though you’ve got nothing left in the tank, to stare failure in the face and tell it “Not Today”. This is something that you cannot buy and something that is the most important thing to have.

Having said that, it never hurts to have a little leg up either!

Please visit Think Sport to see our full range of products for Long Distance Running.