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Jack's Top Tips for the Marathon March

It’s now less than a month until the Marathon March sets off from Selhurst Park and we’ve had some top tips from our Norwegian based marathon man, Jack!

Teacher and running enthusiast. Jack has competed in marathons and ultra marathons all over the world. As an ex-running coach and physical trainer, Jack is looking to support the Foundation by encouraging fans to take on their own Palace for Life fundraisers and assist with any advice and tips along the way.

1. Know Your Kit.

In the excitement of preparing for a big event like a marathon march, you may feel inspired to go out, get a new pair of shoes, shorts or anything else that may tickle your fancy. If you make any new purchases, ensure you have worn them during training and “broken them in” before starting the race. New shoes may give blisters and other clothing may rub in places you were not expecting. Feeling confident your gear will not let you down, will give you one less worry on the day of the event.

2. Don’t test your belly!

On the subject of not trying anything untested on the day of the march, the same applies to your food and hydration. Eat foods you are used to and if you really want to feel confident, eat foods you have eaten whilst on your training walks. Avoid high fibre, high fat and high fructose foods to keep your stomach settled, if that is a concern.

3. Make Sure You Eat.

A brisk walk can burn up to 300-350 calories an hour, walking for 10+ hours means over 3000 calories to be consumed during the event to keep energy levels up. Try to eat little and often to keep the energy levels steady, rather than peaks and troughs in energy levels. This not only has physical benefits but can be beneficial when keeping spirits high. If you let your glycogen stores run empty (caused by spending more calories than consuming, over time) then you will eventually “hit the wall;” a tough place to be for a multitude of reasons.

4. Sounds obvious, but stay hydrated!

Keep sipping water throughout the walk, even from the beginning. Staying hydrated has plenty of benefits but can importantly reduce the chances of cramping late in the day.

5. Listen to your body.

Although everyone who starts the walk would love to complete the challenge, it may not be possible for everyone and that is okay. If an old injury starts to flare up or even if a new one arises, listen to what your body needs. Muscle soreness or fatigue is natural in an event like this, however severe joint pain or a muscle strain is not. Be sensible.

6. Lay down a good foundation for what is about to come.

Fuel up the day, or even two days before. This means by having predominantly carbohydrate-heavy meals. The carbohydrates can be taken as a liquid or a solid – so sports drinks or gels with maltodextrin can work just as well as starches and sugars.

7. “Yeah, I can walk 26.2, easy. I don´t need to train.”

Yes, you probably can walk a marathon if you just slogged it out, however, some training walks will get your feet and mind ready for what is about to come. It is going to be a big challenge, but doing all you can beforehand can make the challenge more manageable.

8. Enjoy it!

This is a unique event that gathers Palace fan´s from all over. Walking 26.2 miles is rough, but if you go out there, have some good conversations whilst making some new friends, the miles will tick by quicker. There is nothing worse than watching the clock and feeling as if time is moving in slow motion. “Time flies when you are having fun,” so have some!

If you want to donate to support this year’s Marathon Marchers and the Palace for Life Foundation, click here.

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