#CLEmarathon: 5 running tips to get you to the starting line
There are 33 days left to train until the #CLEmarathon and half-marathon, so it seems like the right time to share some training tips. I will be sharing three different blog posts full of advice, but I want to offer a disclaimer: I am not an elite runner, nor do I consider myself a fast runner. My tip series comes from insights from Hyland’s strong running community.
Earlier last week, I was able to catch up with some of Hyland’s most dedicated runners to discuss our training rituals and agendas for the upcoming Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. The group consisted of many veteran runners (Tealla Gehlbach, Jennifer Mangino, Jonathan Radwan, Kim Sharkey and Liz Simon) who were able to provide great insight about long-distance training.
In this post, I’ll outline some key strategies and tips from our Hyland runners that have helped them throughout different marathon and half-marathon training. I hope it is beneficial to learn new training strategies, or reiterate some important things to keep in mind while we all gear up for race day.
So, here are my five training tips to get you to the start line:
1. Set a running schedule
When it comes to distance training, it’s essential to make sure you run a few times a week, with one longer run factored in. Make sure to schedule time to run. We’re all busy professionals and often life gets in the way. Having a schedule confirmed ahead of time helps many people stick to their training and ensures they stay on track.
Many runners in our group find that running first thing in the morning is easier for their schedules and makes them less likely to back out of a run if something comes up. If you miss a run, don’t beat yourself up. However, make sure you don’t let that set you back further. Jump right back in where you left off.
Pro tip: Set your clothes and running gear out the night before so you’re ready to go as soon as the alarm goes off to eliminate any distractions. Some runners even set an alarm outside their bedrooms to ensure they get out of bed!
2. Train like its race day
By the time race day comes around, you should feel comfortable with your mileage and running habits. Race day is also not the appropriate day to introduce any new items, such as clothing, gels or shoes you didn’t incorporate into your training.
If you plan to get new clothes or shoes, make sure you train in them to avoid blisters or chaffing. If you want to use energy gels, make sure you try them during training. In addition, get plenty of sleep the night before training runs so you are well rested and prepared.
Pro tip: Fuel properly regardless if it is a training run or race day. Don’t feel like you need to carb-load before a long run, because it can make you feel weighed down and bloated.
3. Find a running buddy
Having a friend to train by your side can be a successful strategy to keep you accountable and keep running fun! Find someone with similar goals who will keep you motivated, especially on the days when you just don’t feel like running. Run different routes and terrains to keep things interesting.
Pro tip: Every weather condition is running weather. Don’t back out of a run because it is cold or raining. You don’t know what the conditions will be like on race day, so run in all weather!
4. Try to prevent injuries
Whether you are running one mile or 26.2, listen to your body. If something starts to hurt, take care of it. Ignoring pain only offsets it for a short time. After every run, make sure to stretch, cool down and recover in a way that works for you. Take advantage of rest days or active rest days each week as you build your distance.
Pro tip: If you can, get fitted for proper shoes. Experts can evaluate your stride and recommend great shoe options (in different price ranges) for your feet.
5. Remember why you started
Most people sign up for marathons and half-marathons with a reason or goal in mind. Hold onto that goal throughout training and on race day and use it to push you to the next level. Remember that in many cases, long distance running is more mental than physical, and the way you think about long runs can affect your performance.
Pro tip: When you hit a tough spot in a run, think about why you are training and hold onto that until you make it through that difficult patch.
I hope the tips outlined above are beneficial to helpful as you prepare for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. Feel free to comment below if you have additional training tips or best practices to share.
Stay tuned for the next post, where I’ll outline five tips to get you to the finish line and keep up the great work training!