Lessons Marathon Training has taught me so far

As I write this it is 72 days, 12 hours, and 28 minutes till my first marathon.  Training has been very different than anything I’ve ever done before, and I’m learning new lessons every day.  Here are a few things I’ve learned thus far.  I’m sure I’ll update this in weeks to come.

  1. Plan for a spring race.  Long runs + South Mississippi summers = one unhappy old broad.
  2. Toenails do grow back.  But, it takes a long time & a really good pedicure is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity.  
  3. Lose the weight you need to before you start marathon training.  There is no time to focus on a weight loss plan during training and the lighter you are, the faster you run, and the easier the load on your joints. 
  4. Stilettos are for younger legs.  Anyone who has peeked into my shoe closet knows exactly what this statement cost me. 
  5. It’s as much a mental exercise as a physical one.  Maybe even more so.  Training my mind to not let my body tell it what to do has been one of the hardest hurdles to overcome.
  6. Ice baths and foam rollers are my new best friends.  Actually, it’s just a cold bath.  I rarely put ice in it.  According to Jeff Galloway, it just needs to be 20 degrees cooler than my body temperature.  Foam rollers are that friend that you really don’t like all that much, but you know you have to include  in your circle.  May I just say “OW!” and “Oh My Gosh, that hurts!”  But, I’m a better person for getting to know them.  
  7. You don’t have to “carb load” before a long race or run.  In fact, for those of us with GI issues, it’s probably a really bad idea.  The week before my long runs, I eat fairly normally, with a conscious effort to eat less fiber filled foods.  The 36 hours prior to the run are the critical time, and I really try to concentrate on balancing proteins and simple carbs, no alcohol, and no high fiber foods.  The morning of the long run/race, I only have a little water before I head out.  Every 30 minutes I eat 30-40 calories, followed by a few sips of water.  Tummy issues resolved.  We’ll see if this formula continues to work.  
  8. Really long runs require a lot of planning, especially in the heat of the summer.  An early start is critical.  Try going to new places to help overcome the mental hurdles.  
  9. Going to Starbucks after a really long run in the heat won’t make you popular with the other customers.  But, they will step away from you and allow you to get your coffee first.  Do what you have to do.  
  10. IT’S OKAY TO WALK!!!!  I’ve really struggled with this one, but, it’s not like I’m going to win, anyway. It feels like you aren’t a “real” runner if you don’t run every step.  But, I think I’ve finally grasped the concept, and I know that Run Walk Run really helps with fatigue and injury prevention. I love the Bart Yasso quote I’ve included here. If you don’t know who Bart Yasso is, Google him.  He’s kind of a big deal in the running community. 
“I often hear someone say, “I’m not a real runner.”  We are all runners, some just run faster than others. I never met a fake runner.”
-Bart Yasso  

One thought on “Lessons Marathon Training has taught me so far

  1. Brandy says:

    Great post! Keep up the good work. It's hard now but come time for New York you'll be so glad you suffered.


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