A lot of my friends & F’N Runners are currently in the midst of the heavy training miles for the 2012 Chicago Marathon. Everyone is hitting their miles and making amazing progress yet their confidence is not boosted with the completion of each long run. Instead they are filled with doubt. They are doubtful they will finish, doubtful they are running enough, doubtful they will be fast enough to make the cut-off, doubtful that they can even make it thru next week’s run because the run this week went so poorly.
I’m want ALL OF YOU to know that you will make it thru the next run, and the one after that, and the 20 miler. We will get your nutrition in check and find out what works for YOU in order to get you to the start line with nervous excitement rather than doubtful dread.
You are certainly not alone when you look around and wonder if you are going to make it thru the training. This is absolutely normal! At this point, you are starting to hit the high miles and it’s not easy. I remember getting back into my car after many a long run wondering how I could possibly get thru the next bump in miles. Yet, I did it, each and every time. It doesn’t get easier when you have more marathons under your belt, you just know to trust the training plan. Trust the training plan YOU picked. Think about it for a minute, you picked a plan for a variety of reasons but basically because you thought it was “somewhat” manageable for your life. You probably downloaded it from the internet, right? How many other people have used that same plan before you? You probably downloaded a plan from a well know website, right? How do you think that person or that website got so popular? Well, it wasn’t because the people who ran the plan before you didn’t make it thru the training, couldn’t manage the next bump in mileage, didn’t finish their race. They did finish and so will you!
So take a deep breath, stop panicking and trust in your training plan. Here are a few things to consider:
- If you are having excessive soreness & fatigue after the long run, consider an ice bath. Nobody wants to take one but they do help. It is the fastest way to cool the muscles and decrease swelling. Everyone does it differently but I sit in the empty tub, start the cold water, plug the tub and immediately dump in the ice. I use a lot of ice, a heaping full 8×8 pan, no less. Let the tub fill to the top of your hip bones and sit for as long as you can. I usually shoot for 15 minutes between fill time & sit time. I take my phone, check Facebook, brag about my AWESOME long run, let everyone know I didn’t die, send out a few tweets about how my training partners totally ROCKED THE RUN, etc. Basically be prepared to distract yourself from the cold water.
- Don’t forget to use a Post Workout Recovery Drink that helps you get back your lost nutrients immediately after the run.
- If your “on the run” nutrition plan is not working, change it. Now is the time to nail down what works for you. Remember that what works for Suzy may not work for you, so talk to several people to get various ideas. Keep trying, you’ll figure it out! If all else fails, keep things very bland both the night before and the morning of the long run. I like to keep it simple with a bland pasta dish with very little protein or fiber the night before, then a banana in the morning of the run.
- Consider getting up a few minutes early to drink a cup of coffee or have an energy drink that will get your blood and intestines “flowing” pre-run. This could help avert an awkward run into the bushes for an emergency pit stop!
- Weather makes a difference! By this point in the summer, you have probably realized that when it’s really hot out, its just not safe to run your normal pace. In addition to adjusting pace, you will need to adjust your fluid intake. Consider a hydration belt, handheld or hydro pack and plan ahead to drop water along your route. Buddy up for the water drop and run so that you will have various places where you can expect icy cold water without having to do all the drops yourself! I would also recommend dropping more than you need in case another runner, who is not as well prepared, needs to “borrow” some of your supply. If you see this cooler on the trail, help yourself; I always bring extra!
- Know that the higher temps and high humidity will result in more sweating. The sweat flushes salt out of your system so go a little heavier on the salty foods the day before the long run. Consider salty snacks, salt tabs, electrolyte drinks or a salt packet on long runs/race day to put a little salt back in your body to avoid water poisoning.
- Know that you and Suzy probably aren’t using the same training plan, so don’t go out and run 10 miles with her because that is what she has on her schedule. Commit to the plan you picked and DO NOT feel guilty. You will both be standing in front of the same finishers screen wearing the same shiny new medal!
Don’t stress; “You’ve Totally Got This”!
Do you have a specific training issue/question? If so, comment below and the readers will try to help you out!
If you have any training tips that can help calm the nerves of our beginner marathoners, I’d appreciate your sharing!
** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** firstname.lastname@example.org