Marathons… we in the fitness world tend to love them, and there is a ton of training that is involved when working towards one! Amongst all of the training that is involved when it comes to marathons, I would love to touch on one very major flaw in any marathon training program that most people are quite often unaware of!
Cardio machines are one of the most popular tools used when prepping for a marathon. I would like to raise awareness of what happens when training for a marathon using cardio machines (of any kind). The brain and Healthy Body are far more connected than most people realize. Our mind is highly sensitive to what is going on in and around our bodies, and, without our choosing, can and will alter the way our bodies are functioning based on what is going on in our surroundings! What this means in terms of using cardio machines for marathon training, is that neurologically, when we use a cardio machine, the brain is aware that we are moving “forward” in motion through space, the brain signals the Healthy Body to use a specific muscle recruitment pattern based on what we are doing physically. This means that when we use a cardio machine of any kind, because of the confusion of moving forwards through space, but not actually going anywhere, the brain signals the Healthy Body to enlist a backward muscle recruitment pattern. So the opposite muscles that should be working when actually moving forward on the earth, fire up, and the muscles that should be firing when performing the desired activity the way that nature intended, tend to shut down in this scenario.
You may be aware of that funny feeling that happens in the Healthy Body when we are going strong on a cardio machine, finish the workout, and then step off. It seems that we have a moment of strange balance and coordination when attempting to maneuver on the actual ground once again. Where this creates the biggest issue in training for a marathon, is that once we have completed the training program, and leave the cardio machines so that we can actually take part in the marathon, because of now being on the earth and actually moving forward in space the way that nature had intended us to, the Healthy Body then switches back to proper muscle recruitment patterns, and we are unable to perform at less than half of the efficiency we would have been on the cardio machine.
I always very highly recommend doing the majority of your marathon training outside, even during the winter, in a safe, non-icy area with optimal outdoor gear, or even on an indoor track, or in a pool, to be sure that we are priming our bodies optimally for such an event! Bottom line, allow your Healthy Body to reach the peak performance it is actually capable of during training for when the marathon comes around.