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Training countdown for the 2016 BMW BERLIN-MARATHON

With 3 months to go until the starting shot will be fired for the 2016 BMW BERLIN-MARATHON it is about time to get fit for covering the distance on race day. The final 12 weeks of training before the marathon are called the phase of “specific marathon preparation”. That means: Starting to build the basic training that most runners will have to put in for weeks and months already, now it is time to set special accents to your training to ensure that the most important training elements for preparing for a marathon have been carried out before you set out on the 42.195 km through the capital. The SMS Medical Institute of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON is offering tips and training schedules for all levels of ability, so the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON can be an unforgettable experience for everyone!

1. Healthy and fit for the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON on September 25th

We want you to start and finish the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON in a healthy condition. Therefore we ask you to take part in a pre-participating health check carried out by an experienced sports physician (sports doctor). Diseases and health risks due to physical activity and sports could be detected by such a screening test. The health check should include a stress ECG (electro cardiogram) and an orthopedic and internal examination. If you are over 40 such a check should be carried out once a year. Until the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON Marathon you still have the chance to implement the pre-participation check.


Blood check: Do you have iron or electrolyte deficiencies?

Deficiencies of iron and electrolytes could decrease your performance and could make your preparation difficult. At this time there is a good opportunity to check your iron and electrolyte status. The analysis of the iron stores should include a blood count and the analysis of ferritin. Important electrolytes are Potassium and Magnesium. If a deficiency is diagnosed, there is enough time to start a substitution.


Fluid check: How much should you drink?

Dehydration can decrease your performance in a marathon. In rare cases too much drinking can even cause health problems. Therefore it is important to know your individual fluid loss. An easy possibility to estimate the fluid loss is the measurement of your body weight before and after training without clothes and in a toweled status. By the difference of the body weight one can estimate the amount of fluid loss, which could be calculated for one hour running. Drinking during running should be practiced. Therefore plan and practice fluid uptake during your training sessions.


Take a break when ill, injured or exhausted

The critical preparation stage for the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON is about to begin. Due to the increasing training amount often infections, injuries and states of exhaustions occur. To not put your health at risk, we recommend you to have the courage for a break until illness and injuries are cured. Also when you suffer from exhaustion take a few days off to continue your training in a recovered status. If you have ongoing health problems contact your sports physician (sports doctor).


Marathon training tips

There are many different theories about how to optimally train for a marathon, and there are just as many training schedules. That makes it difficult to set up general guidelines for specialized training. In any case, the basic premise is good health and athletic resilience, which should be tested by a sports physician. An important criterion for successfully completing the 42-km distance is good lipid metabolism.
To achieve that, you need to complete longer runs at an easy pace on a regular basis (longer than 2 hours or further than 20km), while being careful as you increase the runs (never more than 10 per cent more than the previous week) so you do not get injured (eg. Achilles injuries). In addition, it is important to get used to the specific intensity of competition, meaning that you should consistently increase the segments of time in which you run at your intended marathon pace during training.
Every fourth week of training should be used for regeneration, so that your body can adjust to the previous training sessions. During this phase, you should do shorter runs. To help prevent injuries, you should also do stretching and strength training in addition to running. Trial competitions like a half marathon a month before the highlight are great training incentives, help toughen you up for the big race, and demonstrate your realistic performance level. Tapering is the magic word for the last two weeks of preparation. In this period, you should run less and conserve your energy.
Don’t attempt to try to make up for lost kilometers. Instead, it is always better to adjust your original goals and go to the start fresh and motivated rather than exhausted and over-trained. Training schedules can provide good orientation for sensibly structured marathon preparation, but there is no master plan!               


Marathon training schedule

While training schedules can provide good orientation for a sensibly structured marathon preparation, there is no master plan. You can find a training schedule for the last three months for marathon newbies on our website.