As we all go through a new running reality for these next few weeks, training for Virtual Races can be challenging without your RunSquad. We have partnered with some coaches, physical therapists and running specialty stores to provide tips, best practices, and advice as we run solo – but we are not alone. If you are interested in having a goal or motivation in these quarantined weeks, join our Newport Rhode Races Virtual Run. Learn more at Newport.RhodeRaces.us.
The following are some tips and notes from Coach Lizzie of Anchor Leg Coaching. Check out her website at https://www.anchorlegcoaching.com/
With a little dedication and diligence, you can join the 550,000 people who run a marathon each year. Here are some tips to get you started.
- Training plan: if you can run 5 miles without stopping, you can expect to train for a marathon in about 4 months. I suggest running a marathon in the Fall since it is more pleasant to train during the summer months. Published training plans abound! Or visit anchorlegcoaching.com !!
- The Long Run: this all-important workout will ensure that you will cross the finish line. Each week or even biweekly, increase your long run by 1-2 miles until you reach 18-20 miles. If you are just looking to finish the marathon in no particular time, there is no set pace for the long run. Run slowly enough so that you can finish the run.
- Walking breaks: every 30 minutes during a long run, I walk for 30 seconds and drink water. 30 seconds of walking will break up the monotony of the long run and give you something to look forward to.
- Water: how do you drink water while running? With a hydration belt or handheld water bottle! Nathan and Fuel Belt make different types. A belt or handheld will allow you to comfortably carry water and food while running. The longer you run, the more water you need. Aim for 13-26 ounces per hour, depending on the temperature. More for warmer weather.
- Nutrition: you can eat while running? Sort of. During a long run, you should plan to consume about 100 calories every 45-60 minutes. Experiment with GU gel, GU Chews, Sport Beans, Shot Blocks, Power Gel, Honey Stingers, among others and see what works for you. This will probably include trial and error. Drink a few sips of water after eating.
- Recovery: after running, especially after a long run, eat a combination of carbs and protein within 30 minutes of running. You should generally aim for a 4/1 ratio of carbs to protein.
- Shoes: I recommend investing in a good pair of shoes. Head to a running store and ask them to fit you for an appropriate shoe. Run Newport in Newport, RI is a good place to start.
- Watch: you can use a simple Timex watch, or a Garmin GPS which will indicate your pace and distance. Either one will help you with your training.
- Body Glide: on a long run, your clothes, socks, and/or shoes will cause chafing. Use Body Glide. Enough said.
- Clothing: wearing clothing made of wicking material. Cotton shirts, especially, do not wick sweat away. Wicking t-shirts, long sleeves, and shorts can be purchased at most running stores or even at TJ Maxx or Marshall’s!
- Race Day: don’t try anything new. Try not to wear anything new – socks, shirt, shorts, shoes, etc. You don’t want to discover that a particular shirt is uncomfortable 5 miles into a 26-mile race.
- Do your homework: research the race that you plan to run. Is it hilly? Downhills? Uphills? Flat? Run routes that have a similar elevation. Where are the water stops on the course? While training, drink water at similar times. Is there Gatorade on the course? Some marathons provide Gatorade on the course. If they do, practice drinking it while running. Some runners get cramps from drinking Gatorade. I don’t recommend drinking Gatorade and eating Sport Beans or GU. Too much sugar. Also, while drinking water during the race, fold the top of the cup so you don’t spill it all over yourself.
- Run for a Charity: I have done three marathons for charity and they will always be special to me. As you slog through all those miles, you will find a greater purpose in your seemingly selfish marathon training.
Hopefully, this doesn’t scare you off from running your first marathon. Why run a marathon? So that you can eat that extra bowl of ice cream of course! You might wonder why some runners want to run one marathon after another. As you stand on the starting line of your first marathon, you will remember all of those miles you have run and the hard work you have put in to get there. When you finish, you will realize you accomplished what you thought was impossible! 26 miles! And then perhaps you will start to think about the next one. You will also be the envy of all your friends and family!