Catherina McKiernan's got some tips that will help you peak for the Dublin Marathon

The event takes place on October 30th

Catherina McKiernan,

Catherina McKiernan ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

The Dublin Marathon on October 30th is closing in fast. So how are your preparations going?

If you're looking for some advice on how to get up to speed for a marathon both on the build-up and on race day, there is no-one better to impart knowledge than Catherina McKiernan.

The former Irish athlete won the London, Amsterdam and Dublin Mini Marathon during a glorious 1998 and ahead of this year's marathon around the streets of Dublin, she sat down with Newstalk.com.

You would think that practice-running on a surface similar to the one you'll encounter on the streets of Dublin would be the best way to prepare?

But McKiernan, who is an advocate of ChiRunning, says running on grass is something she would advise.

"That is my preference. There is that little bit more impact on the road and if you have the facilities to run on grass, try to run on grass as much as possible," she said.

"Some people would argue that for the marathon you would need to do some road-running as well to get the body used to that. But when I was running the marathons, I would have done 85% on the grass.

"It does make sense that you have to do a little bit on the road just to get used to the surface and that, but just because you run the marathon on the road, doesn't mean you do all your training on it. Get running on the grass as much as possible because you save the body a little bit."

 

The SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon has sold out for the first time in its history and is now the fourth biggest marathon in Europe. This October’s Marathon will see 19,500 taking part, up from 15,000 in 2015. Additionally, the SSE Airtricity Dublin Half Marathon on Saturday 24th September completely sold out after increasing the capacity to 9,500 from 7,000 in 2015. ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

As well as the importance of correct running posture, the scale of build-up that you should be at by this point is also something that should be noted.

"If you're somebody that has never run or someone whose just taking up running now, you should only think of running the Dublin Marathon next October. You need to give yourself at least a good year of preparation," she said.

"But even for people that are fairly fit and would run maybe three or four times a week, I think a 16 week plan is what's required to give yourself lots of time and get in those long runs and time for recovery to get the benefit of those long runs and the training in general. So it's a long build-up and a big commitment but 19,500 people are willing to put in that commitment," said the Cavan native.  

On posture, she cites ChiRunning as a good thing to incorporate into one's preparation.

"It's good mechanics for running to prevent injury, to clear up injuries, to make running easier for yourself so it has less impact on your body because running is a high impact sport and we want to do everything possible to take some of the impact. So posture is the most important aspect of good running form and unfortunately a lot of people run with incorrect posture and that can cause a lot of running related injuries, lower back pain and calf strains," she said. 

McKiernan also gave her take on a Dublin Marathon course which isn't the easiest in the world.

"They say that it's not an easy course. It's not a fast course but it's a good course and the atmosphere is great and it's well organised. Everybody that runs the Dublin Marathon, they really enjoy it because they have their race names now and their numbers and people are calling out their names, so you get a great buzz from it," she said.

The SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon has sold out for the first time in its history and is now the fourth biggest marathon in Europe. Keith Walsh has been documenting his preparation and training journey through his regular blogs on www.sseairtricity.com/keithwalsh.