I can’t believe I am running a MARATHON!

TORONTO July 7th. Digital Champion Cindy Johnson has been involved in running and fitness ever since she was a young girl. With her 30-something birthday this year, Cindy wanted to celebrate life by checking off another bucket list challenge… Run the STWM full marathon. This is her first race since running a half marathon, 7 years and 1 baby ago. Connect with Cindy on Twitter @PlatinumEvents and on her blog.

I can’t believe I am running a MARATHON! By Cindy Johnson.

This all came to be one morning when I’d had too much caffeine and thought it would be a good idea to run a marathon to celebrate my 30-something birthday year. About a week after I signed up, the euphoria wore off and I began to panic…I knew I needed professional help so I signed up for the full marathon clinic at The Running Room.

Since my training began, I have learned that there is more to running than just putting on your shoes and heading out the door. There is a science behind long distance running, and while I continue to discover “do’s” and “don’ts” everyday, I thought it would be nice to share my experience with other newbie marathoners. Tip #1: Never go for a run on a windy day with false eyelashes. Just saying…SO not cute.

Nutrition
Overeating, not eating enough, and what you’re eating all play a significant role in the quality of your run and recovery. I find eating no less than 1 hour before running provides me with enough energy, along with energy snacks or gels every 45 minutes throughout my run. What I eat the day before a run definitely impacts my performance, so I stay away from alcohol or fried foods. Hydrating before and after my runs keeps my core body temperature nice and cool, which is especially important when running on hot days. Tip #2: Running the day after eating Mexican food is probably not a good idea.

Rest
I am proud to say that I have this part of training down pat, because I do not lose sleep for anyone! I’m in bed by 9 or 10pm every night so waking up for a 5 or 6am training run is easy! Your best bet is to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night or you’ll likely wake up looking and feeling like a slug.

Training
Here is my training schedule since signing up with the Running Room full marathon clinic in June:

Sunday: Long Steady Run #1, 8km Steady Run or Rest
Monday: Cross-Training, Spinning 1 hour
Tuesday: Tempo Run #2, Marathon Pace, no walk breaks
Wednesday: Cross-Training, Spinning, 1 hour
Thursday: Steady Run #3, Marathon Pace, no walk breaks
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Long Steady Run #4, 8km Steady Run or Rest

With STWM on October 20th, my group will  be starting hill training and increasing our distance in July. I highly recommend signing up for a Running Room clinic whether your goal race is 5km, 10km, a half-marathon, or a marathon!

Gear
Tip #3: Wearing the right shoes and apparel is so much more than looking cute. What you wear will have a huge impact on your comfort, safety, injury prevention, and performance. Don’t do what I did and just buy what you think you need. I bought the wrong shoes and injured my food! Go to a specialty store such as the Running Room and talk to one of their staff. When it comes to clothing, there is a science behind everything from socks, bras, and underwear. When you’re running, you’ll want to be comfortable, cool and dry from head to toe. The one item I do recommend for everyone is a water belt. I bought a 4-bottle belt at the Running Room with a pouch for my gels, jellybeans, etc.

Attitude
This is going to be hard work, period. From those annoying tempo runs in the blistering heat to saying no to going out with friends on a Friday night because you have to wake up at 5am the next morning, running is all about your attitude. I have found running with a group has improved my motivation and accountability. If you’re a grump at 5am, you can count on your teammates to help you through your training and lift your mood. That being said, here’s Tip #4: Like everything else in life, you’re going to get out what you put in.

So are you really up for this? Of course you are! Let us know how your marathon training is going in the comments below. See you at the start line October 20th!


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2 Responses to I can’t believe I am running a MARATHON!

  1. Kristi says:

    Hi Cindy! STWM will be my first marathon and I am also doing a Running Room clinic. I have a couple of questions for you… You have some of your training runs at race pace, we’re being told to run slower than race pace for the tempo runs. Do you think doing some runs at race pace is more effective? Also, I am struggling to decide when to take walk breaks. RR promotes 10/1 run/walk patterns but I also like the idea of just walking at water stations, which are all 2 – 3km apart. Any thoughts?
    Good luck in your training!
    raz-family.ca/RunKristi/ (Blog for an Average Runner)

  2. Myron says:

    Kristi, I always walk through the water stations (especially closer to the end!). You’ll find that during the race it’s actually very difficult near the beginning to stay disciplined to slow down to race pace, but you must if you’re going to finish with head held high. The 10/1 thing is very effective; best to stick as close to training sched for first marathon as possible so you can see what works for you and what doesn’t. Good luck, and have fun!

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