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The Marathon Rookie Times, Issue #0011
June 07, 2006
We all know that one of the most basic components of exercise is stretching. However, it can be easy to overlook if you do not make quality stretching after runs a habit early on. Read more.
Running Surfaces: While training, it is wise to run on soft, level surfaces. Running strictly on asphalt is not recommended as you will increase the likelihood of injury due to the constant pounding on the hard surfaces. It is good to run some, or part, of your runs on hard surfaces so your legs will not be in for such a shock on your big day, but mix surfaces with most on softer surfaces like dirt trails or tracks.
Many sidewalks and road edges represent a good example of uneven ground. If your options are limited or you commonly have uneven areas on your route, consider running the opposite way on alternating days to help prevent too much stress on one leg due to the uneven terrain.
Shoe Check: How many miles do you have on those puppies? Most running shoes have a lifespan of 300 miles so if you are at, or around, that point, consider investing in a near pair. It should also be noted that your shoes should be well broken in before you reach the starting line to help minimize blisters during your big run.
Head Check: Any negative thoughts run through your head during training runs? If you’re like most of us, they probably do. Do those negative thoughts help you during your run? Probably not. They are commonly things like, “I don’t know if I can finish this run,” “I’m tired”, “I’m only at mile-11 and have 3 more to go”, or countless other things. It may even be _____ & _____ & _____ happened today or last night and I don’t even know if I have time to make my next run.
Whatever the case, be aware of your thoughts and when you catch yourself thinking a negative thought, tell yourself the opposite of that thought. For instance, if you catch yourself thinking you are tired, tell yourself you feel great or feel strong. Say it to yourself, enthusiastically, ten times or so and I’ll bet you find yourself feeling better almost instantly. At the very least, it will give you something else to think about – something positive – and THAT will help you enjoy the run.
The chef is on vacation right now so rather than offer some crazy concoction I created, I’ll share some simple snack ideas you can pick up at your local supermarket.
• Trail Mix: Loaded with carbs, protein, and lots of the good fat runners need. M&M’s® to make it extra tasty and to treat yourself for all your hard work.
• Yogurt: Those fruit yogurts taste great and offer a variety to suit your taste.
• Fruits: Take your pick. Snack on an apple, orange, grapes, banana, or other fruit. Add blueberries, strawberries, or banana slices to cereal and not only make a great tasting breakfast (or snack), but add lots of the vitamins and minerals you need.
Nancy Clark's Food Guide For Marathoners is a great resource for nutrition during training.
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