Preparing for a marathon? Here’s how the Apple Watch can help you train
Marathon season is just about to start. If you are one of those people who has ever run a marathon or given up wheezing halfway or even walked to the finish line, you will know that it’s no easy feat. We spoke to a coach for the best suggestions
Marathon season is just about to start. If you are one of those people who has ever run a marathon or given up wheezing halfway or even walked to the finish line, you will know that it’s no easy feat.
Marathons take months of training if you want to do it right. Besides hitting the gym and spending enough Time on cardio for starters, you should also have a wearable that keeps you on track instead of relying only on yourself and a trainer.
“Your training determines your race day. And ironically, even though sometimes we have done everything right, the outcome can be slightly different,” Kothari said.
“Make sure your running plan is made to make you a better runner. Enough miles and just enough frequency and lactate threshold runs, will make sure you are peaking well before race day,” Kothari said. The lactate threshold is the maximal effort or intensity that an athlete can maintain for an extended period of time with little or no increase in lactate in the blood. It is an effort or intensity. And while you are doing this, it is very common to “overtrain”.
Mind you though, overtraining is bad for you. You need to monitor your recovert and Heart-rate not only during training but also on rest days. The Apple Watch can help you keep a tab on the Stats related to your runs, like distance and pace, and also on your heart rate over different ranges of activities like run or rest.
“Sometimes, your heart rate will be extremely high in spite of a slow run. That’s when you know your recovery is poor,” Kothari pointed out. Your recovery will improve over time as you train. Kothari also recommends supplements like Ashwagandha, Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, Vit D 3 and Vit C and B complex are helpful in ensuring recovery.
“Sleep and Stretches post run or on rest days are two most underrated recovery tools,” she added.
The Apple Watch can also help you monitor calories that you are burning through the day so you can decide whether you need to increase or decrease your calorie intake. And of course, you can use the Apple Watch to set reminders through the iHydrate app so as you have enough fluids in your system. If you collapse from dehydration, that is not good for anyone.
The Outdoor Run option on the Apple Watch also has a ‘rolling pace’ feature now that displays the pace of the previous kilometres covered. This allows you to set a target pace to ensure you are pushing yourself in the right zone to get as close as possible to the target time. Marathons are not as much about speed as they are about stamina, and therefore, time.
Apple Watch comes with Pace alerts give you a gentle tap on the wrist to let you know if you’re behind or ahead of where you want to be – the plan is to not get left behind. Cadence lets you see your steps per minute and helps you refine your running technique and the rolling pace constantly updates, allowing you to see your split for the preceding kilometre at any time.
The Apple Watch is compatible with running apps like NRC or Strava and allows you to directly sync the runs with your iPhone. So if you have already been using either of the apps to train, you don’t need to drop them or start afresh.
And to make all this intense training fun, Apple Watch gives you easy access to songs on Apple Music, so connect your headphones and get moving.
With the Apple Watch you can keep track of your progress as you train, it is always good to look back and see how far you have come. All the stats are accessible through your iPhone.
In a build-up to race day Kothari suggests that you “don’t try anything new”, no new clothes, socks and definitely no new shoes. You need to break your running shoes in well before the marathon, you don’t want shoe bites to hamper your run. “Don’t even change your watch strap,” Kothari added. A new watch strap might be uncomfortable for you and will end up distracting you during your run.