The big day is only a month away now! I must say, I am feeling pretty excited to finally join the marathon club. It is something I have wanted to do for a long time, but I wasn’t ready. Am I ready now? I guess time will tell, but as it stands I am feeling pretty freaking good going into this. Before my marathon training started I had envisioned it as being a lot more challenging than it has been, say 30+ km runs every weekend and spending the rest of the day vertical, doing nothing. I also thought I would be insanely hungry all the time, but this also isn’t the case, maybe because I already am hungry most of the time?Obviously, these were some naive assumptions because running that long of a long run every week would be pretty damaging to the body and if you eat properly before, during and after a run, hunger is no big deal.
I think for me, the key to feeling great during the race will be to fuel often. I recently tested this during VanRace which you can read about here:Training August 22-28 and VanRace Recap . I have found that fuel intake should never be underestimated. The other realization that my training has provided is the importance of choosing your run clothes carefully and ALWAYS using BodyGlide. I used to only use glide when I was running with shorts because sometimes the seams cause chaffing and let me tell you, that burning feeling never gets easier. I like to use glide in the area between the arm pit and top of the sports bra on my sides because during long runs, I often get chaffing there, but with glide this is totally avoided!
Another important aspect is eating foods you 100% know you react well to. For breakfast before a run, I normally have oatmeal and top it with a banana and unsweetened coconut flakes. If it’s going to be a longer run, I will add a banana. After I am done running, I like to have some form of eggs to re-fuel, last weekend was home-made huevos rancheros, during the week it has been soft-boiled eggs with toast. It is integral to have a breakfast routine to avoid stomach issues on race day, and I have unfortunately had a few stomach issues this training cycle. I think eating at home the night before a run is the best option. That being said, a lot of great races are out of town, even out of the country, so it isn’t always possible to eat at home. I think eating something simple, that you often have, is the best choice.
The last lesson I have learned so far is to put in the work and trust the process. I have been doing my absolute best to follow a training schedule made specifically for me, I made sure to fit in my runs on vacation, when friends from Toronto were visiting, and in spite of any other excuse someone might have to not run. The truth is, I actually don’t like to miss runs or take unscheduled days off. It makes it hard for me to sleep and I have this sense of not having used enough energy that day or something. With an average of 1 day off per week, it is manageable, but it will be interesting to see how my final two weeks of training/tapering play out! Any tips on managing excess energy are welcome!
What has marathon training taught you? Is there any advice you have for a first timer?