Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Tipster: Tips to Survive Marathon Training

Hello friends! Here's what I did as a workout during my lunch break:

45 minutes on the elliptical
Weight Training:
Bicep curls 2x15
Sumo squats 2x15
Quadruped extensions 2x15
Row to reverse fly stand 2x15
Single leg curl & press 2x15
Thankfully, I've been feeling a lot better. I'm not sure what has cured my back pains, but I believe that it's a combination of rest, exercise, adjustments/massage and KT tape. I think it's important that I continue to exercise while I'm pregnant because a) it has kept my sanity in tact and b) it's maintaining my strength for the big LABOR DAY. I've been trying to exercise at least 4 times a week, but I am actively listening to my body as well. If my body says "don't do it," well then I back off and relax for a day. As you could probably tell by now, I am not the excuse-maker, so I truly believe there's no reason why I shouldn't exercise and maintain a healthy diet while I'm pregnant. I'm sure my body will thank me later =).
So today I want to talk about how to survive marathon training. As a competitive marathon runner, I can honestly tell you that training for a marathon is not an easy feat. Marathon training can take countless hours and days from your schedule, so what's the best way to prepare for one? Well, in my experience, I have found that there's no magical formula for this. It really depends on the individual and the amount of dedication they are willing to put forward.
With that being said, everyone has their own set of circumstances to work around with. For example, prior to becoming pregnant, my obstacle during marathon training was working the night shift at work. I worked from 7pm to 7am, which required me to train during the early afternoon hours. Needless to say, I was always tired no matter how many hours I slept. Somehow though, I managed to work around that schedule because I was truly dedicated to becoming a faster and better runner.
Truth be told, that most of my athlete friends and I joke about how nice it would be if we didn't have to work like the professional runners and cyclists. It would make a world of a difference if we didn't, but this is reality.
Anyway, I want to offer you some tips that have worked for me in the past. You can adjust these ideas to your circumstances, but they are an overall concept on how to survive marathon training.
How to survive marathon training:
Tip #1: Create a schedule and get organized. You don't have to create something elaborate or fancy, just a regular schedule will work. Make a "to-do" list for the week and make sure to plan your workouts accordingly. By creating a schedule ahead of time, you will know how much wiggle room you have for a rest day or to move workouts around during the week.
This is my actual schedule book when I was training for the Boston Marathon this year.
Tip #2: Prepare your meals ahead of time. Make a grocery list over the weekend and cook your meals for the week on Sunday night. You could freeze the meals or place them in your refrigerator. Not only does this save you cooking time during the week, it also saves you a lot of mula and it's a way healthier option than eating out. Here's an idea on how to plan your meals for the week.
This is my actual meal planning for the week.
Tip #3: Prepare the night before. Lay out your workout clothes, lay out your work clothes, check the weather and prepare your breakfast. This works, believe me. There will be days when you will get up at 4 or 5 o'clock in the morning and the last thing you want to do is put your workout outfit together. If you lay it out the night before, all you have to do is slap it on and then once you're home after your run, your work clothes and breakfast are ready too.
Tip #4: Get help. You can't do everything on your own, so have your spouse and kids help you out. Create a "chores list" and assign them accordingly. That way there is no confusion as to who has to do what. Make sure to openly communicate with your family that you need help- they cannot guess it.

Isn't that awesome?
Tip #5: Just say "No." Unfortunately we cannot participate in everything during marathon season. This means that you will be saying "no" to some outings with friends and some lunch dates with girlfriends, but that's ok. Make sure to explain to your family and friends that you are extremely busy during this time- they will understand. My friends just think I'm anti-social when I'm training for a marathon, but I'm ok with that =).
Tip #6: Don't get overwhelmed. This is the lifestyle you have chosen, which means that you will be very busy and stressed out at times. Make sure to get organized and plan everything out. You should also verbalize to your family and friends how important this is for you in order for them to help you out and understand what you're going through. Don't get yourself burnt out! Here are some signs that you are overtraining.
How have you survived a marathon season?
I am grateful that my hubby
supports my marathon training 100%.


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