[Guest posts by L Nguyen & M Ahmed]
L Nguyen: What we learned from marathon training
Marathon (n.): a long distance running race, strictly one of 26 miles and 385 yards (42.195 km).
Why would anyone in their mind be crazy enough to run this distance? There are a million reasons we can tell you, however, one of the biggest is simply our passion for running. Most training programs are an average of 16 weeks long. Yes, that is a long period of time- 1/3 of the year. While training for the Columbus Nationwide Marathon, we have really learned a lot about ourselves. Here are some lessons learned;
- Listen to your body! Keeping a balance between life and work can get exhausting some weeks. While going on a run when you’re stressed and tired may sound like a good idea, on occasion, it may be better to either cut back some mileage or just take a rest day. Yes, to a runner, that is devastating news. We have learned to move on and make our next runs better.
- Nutrition. Towards the middle of training, mileage begins to get intense (average 20-30+ miles depending on the week). As runners, people think we will eat everything in sight (and we have). However, it is important to intake the right foods including fruits, veggies, proteins and carbs. During runs, carry gels, blocks, chews, snacks-
whatever works to curb mid-run hunger.
- Weight gain. Both of us had a mini life crisis when we realized that around the first round of our 20 milers, we had packed on a few pounds. It. Will. Happen. We were reminded by our coach that it will be ok! And it was. The extra weight went away right at the start of taper.
- Accountability. 16 weeks of marathon training does take a chunk of time. Finding accountability buddies keeps us motivated and gives you an ongoing cheerleader.
- Shoes. Running shoes do get expensive. But then again, so does a medical bill for a knee injury. We both listened to our bodies when our shoes became worn out. We know that we should get a new pair on average every 6 months or so, depending on your mileage. We always think we can outwear our shoes a little longer. A new pair definitely makes long distances bearable and pain free!
- Running buddies. Find a running buddy for those long weekend runs. We learned this one much later in the training. But better late than never! When running a long distance anywhere from 13mi+, it can get boring regardless of scenery. Having a running buddy to chat with definitely makes the miles go by faster. Perhaps find a local running group… maybe Living Fit Columbus!
- Yoga. Long miles of pounding the pavement do a number on a runner’s body. Often, we forget to stretch after runs, which results in knots. We found yoga to be our solution to not only stretch, but also get some cross-training workouts into our repertoire.
- Have fun!!! That feeling of accomplishment after every run has taught us why we began training in the first place… To have fun and enjoy ourselves. Running is one of our favorite hobbies.
This was Lan’s second marathon and a new PR! Here she is, a proud finisher, ringing the PR gong.
M Ahmed: Running my first marathon
Mahvish and Lan are truly an inspiration to not only our fitness/running/yogi-ing group, but to all humans everywhere. They are two of the most positive, ambitious, motivated women we know, yet remain humble and kind during the process. We are very proud of their marathon finish and can’t wait to hear more about their FIT adventures in 2015!