Apple Watch: Here’s how to make good use of Watch to train for marathon

We are into the second week of the new year 2023 and most of them are already contemplating giving up on our fitness resolution.

Maintaining a disciplined routine to exercise is really difficult to maintain, but if you have a feature-rich Apple Watch, it will certainly help you be motivated to reach your daily goals.

It is advisable to mix and match exercises to make it interesting, or else if we do the same routine every day and week, it gets mundane. Also, if people start to attend marathons once in a while, and even if they don’t win, it will still certainly give a thrill and boost confidence about their body fitness so that they try to win the next time.

If you happen to own an Apple Watch, you can make good use of it to get ready for future marathons better. Also, Reeti Sahai, marathon runner, and functional trainer is offering some valuable tips too.

Cardio fitness can be viewed on the Apple Health app on iPhone. Credit: Apple

With Apple Watch Ultra or Series 8 (or Series 7, 6, or older models), you can check your cardio health to ensure you are fit or not for the marathon. If your Cardio Health shows above average, you are ready to start training for the marathon.

Go to Health app on your iPhone >> All Health Data >> scroll down to Cardio Health

“I train with Apple Watch Ultra as my preferred fitness device without which I don’t let myself out on the road. It’s compatible with most of the activity tracking platforms (Strava in my case) along with in-depth accuracy, complementing with Apple’s proprietary health tracking functions,” says Reeti Sahai, Marathon runner, and functional trainer.

Apple Watch’s native activity rings app does an amazing job of timely notifying us to ensure, we complete our daily goals are met before we go to the bed (based on scheduled sleep timings set on the Health app). Also, if we are idle for more than 50 minutes, it reminds us to take a walk for at least a minute.

And, as the scheduled sleep time is approaching, and we are short of reaching any of the move goals (minimum 500K calories), it can intelligently calculate how much time I need to walk to reach the target. You won’t find any smartwatch that can offer you without a premium subscription. 

Must read | Apple Watch Ultra: Key features you should know

Also, with Activity trends, users can see how your activity metrics are trending over a longer period of time with the Fitness app on your iPhone. 

The Activity trends compare the progress of the body fitness over the last 90 days with the last 365 across a variety of familiar metrics, like active calories, standing hours, exercise, and more. If the user is trending down in an area, the app offers coaching to help get him back on track. 

Apple Health app on iPhone and Fitness app on Apple Watch. Credit: Apple

Besides native apps such as activity rings, users can also subscribe to third-party fitness apps such as Strava, Nike Run Club, MyPlate, Lose It! and Diet by GetFit and others to get guided tutorials on improving body fitness. Also for mindfulness, the Prayoga app developed by a Bengaluru-based couple is an excellent option. It leverages AR tech to help you do Yoga poses, the right way.

Must read | All you need to know about Prayoga app

“Training for Marathons is not very easy. I work through a set regime, as I feel my biggest success is being able to wake up early and get going with my day. I strongly believe long runs are the best ones to build your endurance along with a mix of speedwork to make you faster,” notes Reeti Sahai.

Here are some tips on how to train for a marathon:
Training cycle: Before attending any professional marathon events, one should practice a lot, several months in advance to condition your body to sustain for long runs.  Reeti suggests one should have at least four-run workouts in a week, which should include two easy runs (one short and one long), two-speed workouts (one interval/fartleks and one Tempo/progression day)

Injuries, pains, and niggles: During the early days, your body will sustain physical stress. So, go easy until your body begins to adjust to the new workout regime.
Strength workouts: Running a distance of 42.2k isn’t a cakewalk, and therefore one’s body requires a lot of strength to withstand the same. It is advisable to do strength workouts (such as lifting weights, bodyweight exercises, isometrics, and plyometrics) at least 2-3 times a week which helps them to avoid most of the injuries and niggles. [Note: Please consult a gym trainer for strength workout activities to ensure, you start easy and move on to lift train heavier weights]

Physio: It is recommended to make a fortnightly visit to physio to ensure proper maintenance of the body during a training cycle. Apart from that, a weekly deep tissue massage is good post-LSD (Long Slow Distance training) runs, says Reeti

Recovery: After rigorous training, make it a point to sleep for at least 8-10 hours a day and also go for a short swim at least once a week

Nutrition: Ensure your diet has the required supplement of essential Vitamins and minerals that the body requires to become a long-distance runner. It is very important, for runners to go for natural sources of nutrition. If required, consult a professional nutritionist who can guide you to get alternatives available in the form of powder or pills (legally compliant). Never seek advice about nutrition from acquaintances you meet at gyms.

Must read | Apple Watch Series 8 review: Refined and better

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