Top 10 tips - How to get through Marathon Training

 
Below are my top 10 things to get through the marathon training:
1.  Sneakers
2.  Foam rolling/recovery
3.  Don't do to much too soon (trust your training plan)
4.  Proper nutrition 
5.  Hydration
6.  Don't start something new - like high intensity boot camp!
7.  Cut back on Alcohol Intake
8.  Rest
9.  Listen to your body
10. Don't beat yourself up if you have a bad run (+ or - 2 mile rule)
 
1.  Sneakers
You'll notice sneakers are at the top of my list.  (more to come on the other 9)
It's great to have a new pair of shoes but it's even more important to make sure you are fitted in the right shoe for your foot. 
As we begin to build the miles you'll be thankful for the investment. 
If you don't track your miles, here are some signs that you should retire your running shoes:
1.  The tread is showing significant wear in one or more sections of the out-sole.
2.  The foot-bed (aka the sock liner) of your shoe is frayed or worn thin in certain areas.
3.  The mid-sole of the shoe no longer looks the same or absorbs impact the way it used to.
4.  The shoes upper or laces are showing significant signs of wear.
5.  If feels like your running on pavement - there is no cushion left.
 
2 + 3 - Recovery & Don't too much too soon:
Recovery and "Don't do too much too soon" somewhat go hand in hand.  Training for a marathon has to be done in little baby steps.  We are slowly building a base getting our bodies used to the extra miles and the additional time on our feet.   While some people will never have an ache or a pain there is a pretty good majority of us that will start to feel the aches and pains as the miles progress.  I recommend foam rolling daily from the start of the training to be one step ahead.  Once you've developed an injury it's hard to drop back and rest when your'e in the peak of training.  If you haven't used a foam roller or the Addaday products  I would highly recommend investing in this recovery tool.  There are a bunch at the store you can try.  Feel free to grab a coach to demonstrate how to use one.
 
4.  Proper Nutrition:
 
Proper Nutrition:
You wouldn't drive your car without gas - why would you run without eating breakfast!
Here is a great article that explains how much you should have during your longer runs and marathon.   
Click HERE to read "How I Eat During Long Runs".
 
I personally eat GU after the first hour of running.  I open the packet and start with a little at a time, saving it for the next few water stops.  You have to be well hydrated when taking GU otherwise it can bother your stomach.  That's why I split it up for a few water stops.  
 
I also take salt pills.  How many I take will be driven by how hot the race day is.  If it's moderately hot I'll take 1 around mile 6 (on the alternate water stops of the GU), and then a couple more every hour.  It's harder to recover from lack of salt (leg cramps) so I try to be proactive.  This works for me.  The weeks ahead are your time to determine what works for you.
 

5 & 6 - Hydration/Cutting back on alcohol:

 

"If you are already thirsty, that means you're already dehydrated".   

 

I was going to have Hydration as it's own topic but it seemed appropriate to put hydration and cutting back on alcohol together - since they both involve fluid intake.

It's tough with the great weather here not to over indulge with a cold beer or margarita.

I'm sure you don't like reading this (as much as I dislike writing this), it's so important to cut back during marathon training.  Alcohol will dehydrate you!  Drink more water and less Happy Hours!

 

I also wanted to remind you of how important it is when you see the water stops - PLEASE STOP AND DRINK!  If you don't want to stop for water then carry a hand held water bottle or get a water belt.  Some signs of heat exhaustion are dizziness, nausea, muscle cramping and excessive sweating.  It happened to me during a training run last summer.  If you ever experience this please stop running and seek shade.  Please call a coach to come pick you up.

 

Click HERE to read about some signs of Heat Exhaustion.

 

10.  The (+ or - 2 mile rule) 

 This is something very valuable that I learned in the RRCA Coaching Certification course.  I love this rule.  It's almost like a "get out of jail free" card.   We all have "good" runs and "bad" runs.  A lot can contribute to a bad run; heat, diet, sleep, Happy Hours,  or just that "Life" happens.  So, if you are running and you end up walking or you can't finish the last couple of miles, it's okay!  Those 2 miles are not going to ruin your training.  If you are feeling great and want to add on 2 miles - that's okay too!  Just keep this rule in the back of your mind and use that "get out of jail free" card if you ever need to! 

 

Weeks 8 and on.......

 

For most of us when we get to the 8th week of training this means we are moving from our base building miles to our sharpening miles.  You'll have a couple long runs and drop back weeks until you taper and then it's marathon time.  I've gone through the top 10 things to get though the marathon.  At this point it's going to be "REPEAT" those 10 ten until it's marathon time.

 

You have to honestly ask yourself:

  • Am I foam rolling?
  • Have I tried the right nutrition that works for me?
  • Have I experimented with Salt pills?
  • Do I have a plan for the marathon of when i'll take nutrition, GU or even electrolytes.
  • Do I need to replace my shoes? 
  • Am I taking care of myself; nutrition, sleep, attending too many happy hours???
  • Have I used my + or - 2 mile rule yet?
If you didn't answered yes to any of these - YOU NEED TO GET PREPARED!
If you answered yes to most of these - then congratulations!  
 
As a coach I have my plan for my marathon.  Through a lot of "lesson's learned" and trial and error I have a solid plan.  It my be altered if the weather changes but I have my base of nutrition and salt.