To marathon or not to marathon Part 2
So you decided to run a marathon? Congratulations! This is the second part of a three part series on marathon training. If you haven't read the first part I recommend reading it because all the information works in succession with each other.
This section will tell you exactly what you need to know when you start your training. The first time I decided to run a marathon I had no idea what I was doing or getting myself into. Below are things I figured out along the way that are crucial to know when you are in training.
Gear and Essentials
YOU NEED GEAR. Proper gear that fits is essential. Tremendous amounts of energy is wasted when we dont have the proper gear. Instead of focusing on running we are too busy finagaling with our headphones, rewrapping our arm bands or constantly fixing a permanant wedgie.
Invest in a running vest. I can't stress this enough. It holds a camel back, has two pouches for water and many little pockets for keys and gels. If you don't opt for a vest you will need something that will hold water and other necessities.
Proper sneakers are a must. City Sports and Rhode Runner are excellent places with knowledable staff to assist you. Sometimes special inserts should be used depending on your type of feet.
Headphones. Get a good set that fits your head.
Gels, chews etc. Any sport or outdoor store sell these individually. Buy a bunch of different ones, try them out and see what works best for you. Always stay stocked.
Clothes. Invest in non cotton clothes that fit!
Depending on what time of the year your training takes place you may need other accesories. For winter months in snowy parts of the world you may need ice cleats and other warmer clothes. Head and ear warmth accesories are also a necessity.
Socks. Buy multiple pairs of running socks.
Anti Chaffing Balm. I recommend BODYGLIDE. When your runs get longer chaffing starts to occur under the arms, inbetween the tighs and in all sorts of places. Apply these before long runs to eliminate rashes and chaffing.
Sunglasses. Sunscreen. Money. Fully charged phone. Don't leave home with out them.
Night runs? Reflective clothes and a headlamp are necessity for safety reasons.
Buy some tunes. Spend some money and get some good music to keep you going.
Optional: Get a running coach. I HIGHLY recommend this. Most pople do not run correctly and this is why many injuries occur. A good coach will observe your running and show you how to correct it. This is will help you be a better runner and avoid injuries. Even if it is for a single consultaion, it is worth every penny. Think about it; unless we ran track or cross country nobody taugh us how to run.
I would say the majority of marathon training is planning. Between cross training and running your schedule will be packed so planning is a must. Ensuring that all your ducks are in a row will make for less stressful days and smoother runs.
Plan your your weeks upfront. Get into a habit of mapping out your week in advance so you know exactly what you are doing on each day.
Long runs are..long. If you have to run 15 miles plan to include warm up and cool down into your time frame. When mileage increases, the days of long runs are usually a wash. Don't plan anything strenuous or work for that day. I went to work after a half marathon. After 9 hours on my feet slinging drinks, I wanted to die and could barely stand by the end of the night. And let's not forget the nights before the long run. Drinking heavily and staying up late is not a good thing ( I've done in- no bueno).
Incorporate races into your training schedule. It's a great way to break boredom and practice your race pace. Coordinate half marathons to coincide with the weeks that involve 12-14 mile runs.
Change your scenery. Let's face it. Runnning get monotonous. Find some cool spots or new routes. Beach, trails, parks or bike paths? Incorporate this into weekly planning.
Keep a log. For marathon trainings I don't use an APP. I map out the weeks in my planner in advance and use Strava when I run. There are APPs out there that will map out your training for you. It is just preferance.
Long runs require water and fuel. Always stay stocked with water, chews, gels etc. Always bring money and your fully charged cell phone with you for emergencies.
Routine massages are a GREAT idea and should be incorporated! I used to think of this a luxury but it actually is essential. You are putting your body through A LOT! Show it some love. Don't forget your feet! Pamper those babies with a pedicure with an extended foot massage. My salon offers extened massages in 10, 15 and 20 minute increments. Ask your salon if they offer something along those lines.
Don't let injuries go by the wayside! I visit the chiropractor weekly during training to keep my hips inline and when my hip feels achy after I run I always ice. Ice, foam roll, cool down, warm- up and stretch!
Allow youself rest days. Between cross training and runs your body needs a break. Make sure you have atleast one day you allow yourself to do nothing.
Read on for information and tips for the big day and the days that follow.