Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fall: Season of the Taper! Marathon Tips & Tricks

Fall in Western NC
Well I've survived 17 weeks of training thus far and with only one week left to go, I have a bazillion questions circling my brain... 
Did I train hard enough? Long enough?  Smart enough? Did I manage my diet okay? Will all my clothes work day of the race? Could I have given more or pushed harder? Should I have tried harder with the XT?  Will my one or two bad long runs predict how I will run the marathon? Will I even finish the marathon alive?  Have I thought of every single thing I will need for this trip? 
And so forth and so forth ... I might just be freaking out a little now...

ONLY 7 days 14 hours 9 minutes 40 seconds...39..38..37...

One thing I've learned from this whole experience is that I wasn't very good listening to my body at times
when it would say slow down! A few tips and tricks I've gathered from this first season of training I will apply for next season's training:

1.) Rest is vital. Too many days and nights I would stay up beyond what my body could handle because I thought coffee would just cure me.
•hot tea and rest each night possible
•stretches to calm my mind before bed
•all gadgets/tv/cell phone off 30 minutes prior to bed (this, I still do not have under control)

2.) Hydrate. And when you think you've done enough, drink up some more. 
•keep at least 2 bottles of water full and on-hand at all times so I'm never without
•drink glass of water before coffee and after
•eat hydrating foods (I.e. celery, many fruits)
•hydrate and replenish electrolytes before you become depleted!

3.) Nutrition plays a HUGE role.  Abs are indeed made in the kitchen. Just like a car, bad fuel in the vehicle could equal serious engine damage.
•choose veggies and fruits for snacks
•lean proteins/brown rice at dinners
•food/meal prep <--- this is my biggest goal for next year in the nutrition department.  Get the food organized and you will be better able to conquer last minute snack attacks and dinners. HERE are some great tips from Fit For Moms blog!!  (love her blog!!)

4.) Motivation. •read books running related
•keep up with social media runner friends
•run with friends more often

5.) Training •implement more yoga/pilates (I started out decent but wavered throughout training...)
•organize time better to better accommodate workouts.  Get a big calendar and place in very visible area where I will not miss seeing it daily!
•choose training plans that suit my lifestyle. Although I really think RLRF has worked very well for me I miss running just for the sake of running.

6.) Gear•investing in a good pair of shoes is probably the single most important thing you can do!
•do NOT wear 100% cotton under any circumstance. (I.e. - July 4th mishap...)
•compression pants are my best friend on long runs...

This is only a small list of the basics I've learned. Of course I've learned so much more in terms of myself, strength both mental and physical, courage, determination...oh the list really is endless.  I'd have to take a whole day to write up a blog post on that.  I'm sure you other marathoners (or soon to be marathoners) would agree!

Here's a few sites I've compiled that I found useful.

Best marathon advice as per NY Times

Runner's World article here on running a smart marathon

Last minute tips from a Boston marathon Veteran

Just a new great blogger I discovered HERE! Mile-Posts

**What are some things you've learned from training?**

Happy (&Blessed) Running!



4 comments:

  1. It sounds like you've learned some great things! Continuing to connect with runners is great! It's motivating and there's always new products and advice to learn about:) The week before the race I really focus in on eating, making sure I'm REALLY hydrated, focus on carbs, salt, and protein, and sleep! I also foam roll a lot before and after, and wear compression sleeves for a day or two. The day after the race it will be crucial to do something like go for a walk and/or yoga to get things moving again!

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    1. That's one thing I've enjoyed about starting this blog since last year, meeting so many new runners and making friends! Great support system. I wish I had arm sleeves ...could only afford so much gear this year ...maybe next year! Will I be able to walk after the marathon?? Lol thank you for the tip!

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  2. The lesson I learned was to train not only your body but also your brain! Marathon running is a very mental sport and you have to be ready in your mind as well. Positive self talk is crucial!

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    1. I'm definitely beginning to truly understand this aspect ...feel like my mind has gone crazy! Lol think I need to start self pep chats

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Thanks for the love :~)