Marathon Training for the Real World
Pulling an all nighter? Stuck in line at the DMV? Breeze through these and more real-world tests of endurance (and patience)
In general, several global principles apply to most real-life marathons, says Cindy Trowbridge, PhD, ATC, CSCS, associate professor and clinical educator coordinator of the athletic training education program at the University of Texas at Arlington. "All too often during real-life marathons we forget to drink or we drink dehydrating beverages such as coffee or alcohol, for example. Even a two to three percent loss in body weight is significant dehydration."
As in any marathon, in addition to proper hydration, nutrition, preparation, and rest all play major roles to help you cross the finish line in good form.
Remaining in one position for too long can cause muscle tightness, pain, and stiffness. One reason, Trowbridge says, is due to less fluid production and exchange within the joints.
Training tips: Get a good night's sleep the night before. Use good driving posture: Adjust your headrest so that it touches the middle part of the back of your head. Use a neck pillow if needed to fill in gaps and make you comfortable. Position your shoulders in a relaxed position. If you have arm rests, rest yours elbows comfortably on them.
Place your hands so you have a proper grip on the steering wheel but are relaxed. Use a lower-back support if needed. Take a 10 to 20 minute break every two hours or so to walk around and stretch.