I have another great guest post today from Alyssa, who blogs over at See This Girl Run. She is currently training for a marathon, and has a lot of great tips for you, whether you’re training for a 5k or a marathon! I’ll pass it over to her now
Hello everyone! My name is Alyssa (a-lee-sa) and I blog over at See This Girl Run.
Just as a brief intro, I first started running my 8th grade year with the high school cross country team and ran my 8th, 10th and 11th grade years. I then ran here and there all throughout college but was never very serious about it. This was very evident in my Freshman 10 hanging around for all four years
However, I’ve always loved health and fitness. I even majored in Exercise Science! It’s just something I’ve always had a passion for! My senior year of college I signed up for my first half marathon and I was hooked! I have since run 4 half marathons, one 15k and am currently training for my first full marathon. It’s safe to say I love running!
As I’ve trained for all my of my different races, including my upcoming marathon, there’s been a few things I’ve learned that may help you as you train for your next event.
1) Find and use a training plan
Whether it’s one that you create yourself or one that you find online or in a book, use a training plan! I know that this helps me to know what’s coming up for me as far as workouts and they push me harder than I would probably push myself. I also like to find ones that help me to incorporate a variety of workouts (ie. speed work, long runs, easy/recovery runs, strength training and cross training). One site that I would highly recommend is halhigdon.com
. There you can find a lot of different training plans based on the length of the event and your ability level. I used one of their plans for my last half marathon and was able to PR.
For my marathon, I’m currently combining a couple of different things. I’m using a running plan from “Run Less, Run Faster” by Bill Pierce, Scott Murr, and Ray Moss for my weekday runs (awesome book! I highly recommend it) and Tina Reale’s Best Body Bootcamp
for my strength training. I’m then doing my long runs on Saturday. So far I’m up to 15 miles and boy oh boy that was far! Good thing I still have 8 weeks to build up my mileage.
2) Don’t chaffe
Full disclosure, I have had issues with chaffing to the point of bleeding on nearly every run I went on, regardless of the distance. So I know from experience that something as silly as chaffing can totally ruin your workout because all you can think about is the pain every time you rub your skin. Discovering anti-chaffing “Body Glide” has been the biggest life saver! Especially if you’re going to be going farther distances, I HIGHLY recommend getting “Body Glide”. It’s worth every little penny.
3) Track your distance/pace
Find a way to track your distance and pace! For me, this is one of my biggest motivators to improving throughout my run. It helps me know if I need to pick it up or if I’m going to fast (this happens!). I am currently using my Garmin 10 and I absolutely love it. Plus I got it in purple. So cute!
In the past, I’ve also used the “Map My Run” app, which worked wonderfully. Plus, it’s free!! How much better does it get than that?! I’ve also heard really good things about the Nike app from quite a few friends. But regardless of what you use, I guarantee it will be a huge tool in your training and as you try to improve.
4) Learn How to Fuel
Before, during and after training runs and your race! This will make all the difference in how you feel on your run! Remember that as you increase your training, you should be increasing your caloric intake (in a healthy way). Your body is putting forth more effort and you need to give it the fuel to perform at that higher level!
Before your run, you should be eating a simple carb such as a banana or a piece of bread. These break down quickly and will give you quick energy.
During the run, there are so many different options for fueling! My personal favorite is Shot Blocks. They’re easy to eat while you’re running and don’t have a gross consistency, like goos. The fruity taste can sometimes be a little much while I’m running but it’s much better than anything I’ve tried so far. I can also tell a difference in my energy level within minutes of eating a block. These little things have gotten me through many, many miles.
After your run, you need to eat a protein. When you exercise, your muscles are broken down and literally torn. That’s why you’re sore. You have torn muscles! By being torn and built back up, they become stronger. As you eat protein after a workout, it will assist your muscle to be built up that much stronger, therefore making the most of all that hard work you just put in to your run.
5) DRINK LOTS OF WATER
Yes, that required all caps. I can’t emphasize enough, especially with this hot summer weather, how important it is to properly hydrate! According to Jillian Michaels, you should be drinking enough water that your pee looks like lemonade. If it looks like apple juice, you’re definitely not drinking enough. Graphic? Sorry. But it’s true. Drink your water! Get a water bottle that you can take with you throughout the day to work, class, wherever you’re going so that you can constantly drink throughout the day. Your body is 50-65% water, so if you want it to function properly, it needs to be well hydrated!
I hope those 5 tips will help you as you train for your next event. Even if you’re a seasoned runner, these are always good reminders!
Remember to listen to your body (sneaky tip #6). I know you’ll do great! Be careful out there, take care of yourself and good luck with your training!
Follow Alyssa’s blog here or like her Facebook page for post updates. Thanks for reading and I hope you have some new bloggers to follow now!