This post, unintentionally, is centred around a couple of things that I missed in Marathon Training – What They Don’t Tell You. The comments included the addictive quality of running, and the need to eat constantly. This week, it’s been all about the food and the desire to get as much race and running experience as I can.
Also – I’m hoping that I can justify buying a new pair of runners. My friend Chelsea just bought a pair of these -
I want purple ones too!
The Weekly Chase
I’m a bit late with this, but I’m going for it anyway! Melissa at Live, Love & Run, has come up with the Weekly Chase, to share our health and fitness goals, and stick to them.
So here’s are mine for this week:
Run 13.5 km this weekend
I’m giving myself 1 hour and 14 minutes, so I’m feeling confident
I am getting hungrier and hungrier as my training ramps up and my body gets more efficient. At the moment, my staples are yogurt, oats and fruit, all with peanut butter.
While I was in the US a couple of months ago, I got hooked on Chobani. It’s sold at Woolworths here, and I’m an addict. I tweeted my love for Chobani, and in no time, this appeared at my apartment in Sydney:
It’s also been an indulgent week though. With my brother in town for the Lady Gaga concert…
We went out for lunch and dinner, downed a few ciders, and sang along to a lot of trashy music.
Which probably explains why I now have a cold!
Even so, the nicest thing happened today. Being new to marathon training, I didn’t know if it was wiser to rest up or stick to the plan. I tweeted #runchat and threw it out to the twitterverse, and the gorgeous running community gave me plenty of advice.
The result was that my 5km short run to test the waters ended up being a fantastic 10km, right on schedule.
So now I know the answer – little cold = harden up! :-D … and use #runchat where we’re all crazy about running!
It’s a hard life. Check out my view from Monday lunch in the city:
I’m hoping to run across that same bridge on Sunday 8th July for the Sydney Harbour 10km. I’d love to know if anyone else is running it – would be cool to meet up with people at the starting line.
I also registered for the City2Surf, but sadly I have to work in Canberra that day, so it looks like I’ll miss out this year
In happier race news, my fantastic father kindly looked into running in Cairns for me. I’m seeing the family for the first time in 6 months to holiday in far North Queensland for a week (I know, hard life).
- While we’re on the Dad being awesome bit of this post, I feel like everyone needs to know that when I was dong my long run in Melbourne late last year, Mum and Dad jumped on their bikes and came with me. Dad navigated, carried water bottles, and fed me at the turn-around point. Love you Mum and Dad! -
Definitely waking up to the kindness of the twitterverse – and smashing out a great run.
What motivates you to run when you’re feeling off?
Who is always supportive of something important to you?
What is your go-to food? (I am going through half a large pot of yogurt every day!)
Fartlek: Fartlek is a form of road running or cross country running in which the runner, usually solo, varies the pace significantly during the run (Cool Running).
Pretty broad right? I have only recently started trying to incorporate Fartlek once a week. don’t think I do it properly.
On Thursday, I had a go by trying 6 fast minutes in a 7km run. I do’t think I even hit 13km/hour. It’s going to take awhile to beat the slow runner out of me. I even had plenty of energy left over for a couple of extra km at the end. Probably not a good sign!
That said, it’s been a slow recovery process, and the last race I ran was a 6.1km in November last year. I did that in 33 minutes, so I’m pretty stoked to have just under 37 minutes for this run.
It was the perfect day for it. I got all psyched up and took a pre-fartlek photo for you
But, it’s a start, and I’ll keep trying!
Sleeping in! I was a complete sloth. Sometimes it’s lovely to just cuddle back into the bed and stay there for awhile.
I’ve seen plenty of marathon training programs around. I’ve also seen plenty of information on nutrition, building up your fitness, what to wear, why your feet hurt etc. What I haven’t seen is a list of the things that runners forget to tell you – probably because they’ve become so used to them – or how to avoid them!
You can’t run every day
If you’re a new runner, it takes some time for your muscles and bones to get used to the impact of running. It’s all very well for seasoned athletes to run long distances every day, but unless you’re lucky, it’s an easy path to injury.
I screwed this up completely, and ended up with shin splints before I even knew what shin splints were. While I’m building up my strength, I stick to the elliptical and bike on my in between days. This is one of the most important things I’ve learned in marathon training (at least for a newbie!).
Your butt hurts. A lot.
I was totally clueless when I started, so I’m not assuming you’re as shocked as I am by this one. But wow! Not only was I getting ordinary running discomfort, I didn’t really know how to activate my glutes, and then I didn’t think abut stretching them. In fact, I didn’t think about it at all.
Sound odd? In an ideal world, everyone would have clean clothes all the time, but sometimes, you’ve been behind on your washing, or can’t find your shorts. That’s ok, but don’t be surprised if you get some nice red bumps on your derriere.
That rash comes from skin, sweat and those sweaty leggings you wore yesterday. When training for a marathon, you run long distances. The longer you spend in those clothes, the worse it gets. I can’t tell you how freaked out I was the first time it happened to me!
Invest in good socks
I wish someone had told me this earlier. I’ve always been a 10 for 10 pack girl. Unfortunately, wearing crappy socks leads to blisters. And blisters are unfun.
It’s ok to stop
This is an interesting one. First of all, I mean what I say, it is ok to stop and walk for awhile if you need to.
The bigger thing for me has been realising that I need to run before I run. Go with me here. Unless I get my heart rate up and let it drop again before I start running, I can’t get much further than a kilometre or so without feeling terrible. Now I do a short sprint or some sprint drills before I begin.
The 10% rule
This is a fairly common one, but it is important. Don’t try to do too much too soon. To keep your body healthy and stay motivated, don’t increase your distance or time (your choice) by more than 10% each week.
You have to eat
This one sounds simple, but I had no idea just how important it was until I started running. You simply can’t run 10+ km if your body doesn’t have the fuel to go. It’s like trying to run a car with an empty tank. What you eat the night before is critical. I.e. don’t eat a light salad and then expect to wake up for an 18km long run.
Know where the bathroom is
This isn’t a fun one, but it is important. Sometimes, especially when you’re beginning to run long distances, your body just doesn’t behave as you think it should. That peanut butter toast might not have been the best move for your body, and before you know it, you’re in the middle of a park, desperately clutching your stomach, and there’s no toilet in sight.
If possible, check out your route before a long run.
Headbands are gold
I’ve never like headbands, but as a girl with plenty of hair, I’ve come to see them as an essential part of my running outfit. In fact, anyone can use one. They stop the sweat trickling down into your eyes (and ipod earphones). The difference is incredible.
This was another moment of total ignorance for me. I thought ‘great, I’ll throw on my runners and head outdoors’ – no gym membership, no special gear.
Great, until you think about making sure you have the right shoes, and clothes that don’t chafe. And then you realise you don’t really know how to improve, so you go to a personal trainer, and then you need better socks, and then a physio when you get injured. And then you decide to get a couple of massages. Oh, and a Garmin might be nice…
You get the picture! It’s definitely worth it, but for me at least, it certainly hasn’t been cheap!
It’s time consuming
Running 4-5 days a week, and adding in a long run that is anywhere between 1 1/2 to 3 hours long is time consuming. As is the stretching, and the recovery. After a long run, chances are you’re going to want a nap or at least a break before you do anything that involves thinking or walking
What do you wish you’d known when you started training for a marathon?
What tips have really helped you?
Here are more workout tips and tricks to get you started.
I’m somewhat new to the peanut butter band wagon. I’ve always eaten it, but I used to see it as something to be taken sparingly. The problem is, nut butter contains FAT, which always made me think it would make ME fat.
Now I know better. Which is great, because peanut butter is delicious.
Here are a few reasons why nut butter is the bomb (but with the condition that it’s natural peanut butter, instead of the oil, sugar and salt filled varieties on most supermarket shelves*).
It tastes delicious
It is high in protein (apparently 8g of protein in 2 tablespoons – that’s equivalent to half a cup of lentils, a smallish piece of chicken or a glass of milk)
It’s actually good to have some fat in your diet, and you may as well get it from a natural source (e.g. Eat Fat to Burn Fat is a mantra in body building and other sports)
It’s fantastic as a combo, both in terms of taste, but also to keep you fuller. Peanut butter + bread, peanut butter + apple, peanut butter + yogurt, and peanut butter + carrots are a few of my favourites
PB with yogurt, oats, egg and pear. A little can go a long way!
My only word of caution is that if you’re like me, and you exercise heaps, and don’t have the world’s strongest stomach, it’s a good idea not to eat it before running/jumping/moving around a lot. I’m sure you can figure out the why for yourself!
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I am Kate, a 24 year old Aussie living in Sydney. During the week, I run a business and spend time with my other half – Mr The Rake. In every spare second in between, I run.
I started Run With Kate to track my progress as I worked toward running the Melbourne Marathon.
I ran it. And I kept running. Running has helped me to overcome anxiety and disordered eating. It’s given me new friends, new goals, and a totally new outlook on life. Join me as I share my running adventures (and stupid stories) and share your adventures in return.
The Goal Getter Challenge : At the start of each month, choose a goal to aim for. On the last day of the month, post a photo with your progress to instagram or twitter using the #goalgetter2013 tag. See you there!