I am feeling great in 2015!
One of the best things I have done so far this year is to perfect my morning routine. This has included me carving out the necessary time to train for my planned upcoming 1/2 marathons and possibly a full marathon in 2015. Running these races require essential tools for success outside of waking up 5 days a week to run. Here is my list of marathon training essentials that has allowed me to run 26.2 miles.
Staring off with the obvious, a fantastic pair of running shoes is absolutely essential. I have been a die hard Nike fan my entire life but when I got serious about running I had to get some serious running shoes. I researched what other runners were wearing and decided to try out a pair of Brooks running shoes. I needed shoes with medium support and moderate cushioning for the long distance runs. You can also go to a running shoes store and run on a special treadmill that will determine your type of stride and landing pattern. Then the shoe expert can advise you on the different types of shoes that would match your running style.
I have fallen in love with the Brooks Glycerin 9 editions. They have not been available in retail stores for years so I have to search the internet for a pair. Having the “latest running shoe” is not necessary as far as I am concerned. I will alternate with a pair of Mizuno running shoes on my shorter runs. Research suggests wearing a couple different shoes while training decreases your chances of injury. Sounds good to me.
I have tried all types of socks and found that the right one can really make a difference. My absolute favorite are the Thorlos Experia Socks. They breathe incredibly well and have the extra padding right were you need it. This does come at a price of about $15 per pair. I know this might not fit in everyone’s budget to wear $15 socks every time you go running. My suggestion is to wear them on your long runs when you really need them. As time goes on you can slowly build up your expensive sock collection.
Staying hydrated and fueled during a long distance run is essential. My general rule of thumb is that I wear a water belt when running over seven miles. This can be an absolute life saver when you are far away from your starting point and you can feel the need of hydration from your body. These also have a nice sized pouch for energy gels and the key to your front door. I am a huge fan of the water belt products from Nathan Sports.
Long distance running requires a consistent energy level. GU energy gels are my go to product when I am miles away from the house and need to digest calories to keep my body going. It is important to find a product like this and make sure your stomach accepts it. I have never had an issue with GU and will continue to use it. It works so well for me that I never even think of using another product. Find an energy gel that works for your and stick with it.
Have you ever heard of runners getting bloody nipples? It really happens! This occurs as your shirt has rubbed your nipples raw during a long run. I have only had the experience one time when I forgot to adhere my favorite nipple Band-Aids. This little tip can save you a lot of pain and screaming in the shower.
Having the proper clothing for all types of runs is very important. The above photo was taken Thanksgiving day in 2013. I will never forget it because the weather was 22 degrees! This was OK because I had the proper clothing to not feel uncomfortable during the 13.1 miles and distract me from my goal. In the summer I usually wear sleeveless shirts and short shorts. Simple items such as gloves and hats can make all the difference when running in the cold.
The key to a successful race day is to stay consistent with what you have been doing. Don’t try a new pair of shoes the day of. Don’t eat the “new” energy gel that you have not tried during the race. Wear the same clothes you have been training with for the past few months. Consistency is key in all aspects of running.