It’s late May. The end of the school year is upon us, it’s a long holiday weekend, and the Florida heat is on. November seems so far away but then it sneaks up on us. Let the inevitable begin-marathon training!
I’m trying a new marathon this Fall, the Outer Banks Marathon in Kill Devil Hills NC. I’ve heard there are hills, a trail portion, and a bridge at the end. Then there’s a time goal I am aiming for(no I’m not sharing, I’m afraid to even whisper it). So it begins. I must be careful and listen to my body so avoiding injury and death by heat stroke. After all this is Florida(today was 99 degrees in our neck of the woods).
How to get through? Here are some ways to make the training bearable and even fun.
The earlier the better.
Jax Galloway runs throughout the year(some of us don’t stop even after 26.2 with Donna),so from March on we meet to run at 7a m. That’s great during Spring because the humidity isn’t a factor yet, but once May rolls around…forget it. We start as early as 5 a m some training weeks. As our mileage increases, we might start earlier. Anything after 9a m can be odious.
Carry your own water.
I made this rookie mistake when I was training for the MCM(Marine Corps Marathon), I was use to running in Neptune and Atlantic Beach where there were water fountains. I ran from Neptune Beach to Ponte Vedra Beach thinking there would be plenty of water fountains too. There were none even though the Jacksonville Beach boardwalk had been repaired with new bathrooms not just portable restrooms. What a 18 mile disaster! Now I always carry my Nathan water bottle with me so, even if I drink all of my water, I can refill as needed(if I get lucky to find a water fountain).
What are you wearing?
My running outfit consists of either my Skirt Sports Jette or lioness skirts or my Nike shorts, a tank(usually one of my RunDonna ones), my super comfortable My Soxy Feet socks(even if they get soaked no blisters), a wicking hat(Team Donna) or visor(My Soxy Feet), my sunglasses, and my Brooks Adrenalines. No capris for me or shirts with sleeves. Don’t forget the sunscreen! Afterwards, change my shoes for flip flop sandals and a different shirt(if I remember ). Before I get dressed, I always put on Gold Bond friction defense. Why? Heat, humidity, sweat, and even wicking clothes can rub and create uncomfortable welts. I still have a scar from chafing at the Jax Marine Corps half. The shorts were not new and had never caused irritation before, but the atmosphere was ripe for a chafe fest. Not pleasant. Especially when hot water hits-yow!
What’s your game plan?
My BRF’s are running the Chicago Marathon, the New York Marathon, or MCM; all of these happen before mine. That means they’ll be running higher mileage than I will, and tapering while I’m still needing miles on my legs. What do I do? Start planning out my running schedule now week by week. Whose plan am I using? Mine. As an experienced marathoner, I know to increase my long runs by 10%. Track for speed training and to get use to the discomfort for my time goal. Bridgework for hill training, and even Mount Unpleasant(that’s what we runners call Mount Pleasant in the Fort Caroline area). Swimming and cycling for cross training to use other muscle groups. That’s why I love my training planner! I guess I’m old fashioned that way. A lot of runners use excel sheets or other computer programs to help them map out their own training schedules.
Take that Rest day.
It’s 80 degrees outside at 6 a m, the dogs are trying to come back inside and are parched, and a cup of coffee is calling my name. Yes, it’s a rest day, and yes all athletes need a recovery day. I confess I do like taking those days to catch up on my reading or going for a family walk. Summer heat doesn’t make me feel guilty in the least. Necessary and good for you.
Don’t go it alone.
Before I had BRF’s, going out and training by myself was a drudge. I would get Chris my husband to ride with me so I wouldn’t be bored out of my mind. Now I have others who are training like myself and love having company. It makes the miles fly by. And what gets said on the run, stays on the run. I’m so thankful for my wonderful running family.
New shoes before the end of your training.
You’ve been running in your shoes all this time (3-4 months), and it’s 6 weeks until your marathon. Now is the time to get a new pair and start conditioning for your upcoming mileage. I have been lucky! Brooks Adrenalines have been my go to shoe since 2009, so I just get a new pair and off I go. Some runners are not so lucky, my husband has had a difficult time finding the right shoes for him…Asics, Brooks, Saucony, Newtons, now Altas. Get properly fitted at a running store not a department store. It makes a world of difference.
Here’s hoping you have a memorable training season.
Remember it’s about the journey not just the destination,