What the Friday… Training Tips & Tricks

When I was training for my first half  I spent many mornings thinking WTF. Did I seriously commit myself to running 13.1 miles or in my newest situation the whopping 26.2 miles? It’s as though I woke up one morning and decided to run a marathon. There is the misconception that people think that all you need to do is slip on athletic shoes and the pavement is waiting for you. That is not the case and if you want to be a successful runner you need to make the investment in yourself. Here are my tips and tricks for training for your first half or full marathon…drum roll please.

  1. Stay Hydrated…Water is your new best friend. Are you drinking at least 2 liter bottles of water a day? If not, bottoms up!  Start this habit early and be sure to drink at least 2 bottles a day, I prefer SMART Water because it has added electrolytes. 
  2. Hydration while Running… If you are running more than 5 miles be sure to carry water with you. Since I don’t like carrying anything and I mean anything, I like to run with the Camelbak Hydration Pack. I’m hands free and able to focus on my form rather than holding a bottle of water. 
  3. Nutrition while Running…My other rule of thumb is if I am running more than 9 miles I carry some type of nutrition with me. I like to carry Apple Sauce, yes you read that correctly Apple Sauce. GoGo squeeZ is the one of the best apple sauces to take with you on the run. They are in a re-sealable pouch and does not require a spoon. For those with a less sensitive stomach there are GU gels or chomps, Cliff Shot Bloks, sports beans. I recommend doing taste tests to determine which you like and don’t like as many of them take an acquired taste. 
  4. Take Care of your Feet…It is very important to get properly fitted running shoes and insoles. You only have 1 set of feet and 1 set of knees being they are not replaceable it should be your utmost priority to hit up your local running store and have them fit you properly. Yes you might get sticker shock when the sales person shows you shoes the are $100 plus, but this is the best investment that you will make. Please take remember to always take of your feet.
  5. Invest in Sport Socks…Cotton socks are a huge no no when running. You should never run in cotton under any circumstance. This too could be costly, but it is important to invest in several pairs of socks that are made of materials that “wick” away moisture. This will keep your feet dry and happy. I wash my socks in a lingerie bag so they don’t travel to the land of lost and never found!
  6. Dress Appropriately…Just like your socks and shoes, it is very important to have clothing that “wicks” away moisture. This too is worth the investment, even if you buy just a few outfits. Remember to line dry your moisture wicking clothing as drying over time removes the moisture wicking properties.
  7. Find a Plan…Find a training schedule that works for YOU. There are so many training plans, you need to find a plan that works for your schedule, fitness level, and ability. If you miss a training run, don’t stress too much and don’t try to cram them into a 3 consecutive day period. Just move forward with the plan and keep running!
  8. Stretching…Before and after each and every run it is very important to stretch and foam roll. Warming up and cooling down is key to injury prevention.
  9. Get Support…Accountability is key to successful training and racing. How you stay accountable is up to you. I decided to create this blog that you are reading! There were times during my training where honestly I was ready to hang up my running shoes, but this blog and having everyones support kept me running. Share with your friends and family that you are training for an upcoming race. They will most likely be very impressed by the goals that you have set.
  10. Buddy Up…Going along with getting support, it is just as important to find someone who is going through the same running trails and tribulations. The give and take of motivation and inspiration will help both you and your buddy to achieve your goals. This person could be as close as your next door neighbor or a friend in Boston. Checking in with your running buddy keeps you accountable and on track towards your goals. This also makes a great reunion if your running buddy lives across the country!
  11. Set Mini Goals…Yes, you already set a huge goal for yourself by signing up for the race, but also set smaller measurable goals during your training. It could be as simple as improving your pace.
  12. Rewards…With these mini goals incentive is always a motivator to slip on my running shoes. I like to pay myself a dollar per mile. Find little ways to motivate yourself and to be your own cheerleader. It will help you on days when you are having a difficult time getting out the door. 
  13. Selecting a Race…When selecting your first race, you need to carefully select a race that will keep your mind occupied and feet moving forward. It is really hard to keep those feet moving forward if you are bored along the course. Do your homework and read race reviews. Course entertainment is key to completing a race happy and successfully. In my personal experience I have found that RunDisney is great for both first time runners and experienced runners. It is Disney and they have perfected one of the best race day experiences. 
QOTD: Do you have tips or tricks for first time racers? Are you a first time racer, if so what is the best tip that someone gave to you?

3 thoughts on “What the Friday… Training Tips & Tricks

  1. Your tips and advice are great!!! I think that enjoying the big moment and not putting too much pressure on yourself is some of the best advice I’ve been given! There’s always more races to improve upon! Happy Friday!! Spa love!

  2. Great tips, but I have to disagree on the water one. Especially with all the new evidence saying runners are overhydrated causing more issues with that side of things. In summer i probably carry water for 5 miles but when it is cooler not until I hit 12 miles, same with nutrition. I think everyone is different on that as well. Besides the good shoes and socks, good bras! And don’t be too hard on yourself with the training, don’t compare to others. We all run different and won’t always run the same speed/distance.

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