Monday, July 28, 2008

Learning from the elites

Last night, 8 of us, Raise the Hope gals got to sit down with some elite athletes from our tri team (Raise the bar) and go over our marathon training plans. First let me tell you who we were in the company of;

  • a marathon winner and record holder,
  • two people who have (ran - oops) run many marathons

**grammar police caught my air, ha gotcha! error**

  • and who just qualified for the half ironman national finals

I wanted to soak up everything they said, I wanted them to say that the marathon is a piece

(peace - oops again)**I am pointing out that the grammar police missed this one! **

of cake for them, not to worry it is pretty easy at their level. Nope. Not what I got. I got exactly what I needed to hear.

  • This is a tough race, most people don't make it to the starting line.
  • This is crunch time in the training, these are crucial weeks, as the miles begin building, you cannot slack off.
  • This is a serious run, take the training seriously.
  • Be prepared for the race, so you will want to run again afterwards.

We got so much great information! It was overwhelming. I really didn't want the night to end, as I could have asked a million questions. I wanted to also know what these three elite athletes were thinking? ---As I asked my newbie questions,

For other newbies here are some of the questions we asked;

  • How much do you eat and how long before the marathon start do you eat?

Eat 400-600 calories 3 hours before the start of the race. Start time is 7am, you are eating at 4am. Yes you can go back to bed after you eat!

  • Do you stop at all the water stations? Do you drink the water and the electrolytes at each station?

This answer varied a little bit, but all agreed, we for this marathon should stop at all water locations and drink both the water and the electrolyte drink provided. Or at least drink the electrolyte drink, and pour water over head. Important: Have tried the drink on your long runs, make sure you are familiar with everything they are offering on the course!

  • Do you take gels during the race? of so how many how often?

This answer of course varies depending on the person and how fast they run, as a general rule we got this answer, take a gel every five miles or so. (For this person it was every 40 minutes...obviously I would need many more than that! As my 5 miles is at about an hour!)

  • How do you carry the gels?

Clip them to your shorts. Or put them in a running belt. Also had the idea to put them in your bra! I will probably need around 18 gels if I go by the 200-300 calories an hour rule.... hmmm think I need an entourage following me handing me gels!

  • Do you wear a water belt during the race?

All of them, I believe said no, that there is typically enough water on the course. Of course they are in the front of the pack, so I assume there will be enough for the back of the packers too!

  • Newbie question I am sure! What do you do when you hit "the wall".

With a straight face , they answered, "you keep moving forward"

  • After the race, what is the first thing you should do?

Eat something, within 30-60 minutes, keep walking right after you cross the finish line, do not sit down immediately. Ice your legs, as soon as you can to prevent swelling. Go out for a short walk/or run that evening 15 minutes - for them it was a couple of miles!

Anyone have other newbie questions we didn't ask, and should have please let me know.

Any tips would be nice too, for those that have ran before.

** Grammar police you ask??, well it is my mom! Bless her heart, retired school teacher loves to catch my errors Yes, the 4 years at the University served me well! I laugh when I catch the errors myself, but dang it when she calls to tell me my mistakes! Eagle eye - missed a funny one this time... **


IronJenny said...

great info but keep in mind that they are off the course in 2-2 1/2 hours. You will be out there about twice as long... Good luck!!!!
My tip is:
3 weeks out-22 miler
4 weeks out- 15
5 weeks out- 20 miler
6 weeks out - 15
7 weeks out -20 miler
8 weeks out - 18
9 weeks out - 16 and on down ...

Oh- and take Immodium!

Eileen Swanson said...

Hi there,
Great to see that you are learning lots for your marathon! Definitely practice your nutrition a number of times before race day! You will do great!