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Expert Tips for Beginners

Hello, fellow MCM runners! Spring is finally here, so I hope you’re getting outside to run. I know it’s been rainy and gloomy at times, but remember, on race day you can encounter any sort of weather. It’s best to be prepared for anything rather than bank on ideal, perfect conditions!

With summer and serious training fast approaching, I’ve got a couple expert training tips to help you all become smarter — and healthier! — runners.

Tip #1

If you feel like you’re going too fast during your easy runs, you are. SLOW DOWN! You won’t gain anything from going too fast or too hard during light runs. A good benchmark is that about 70% of your training should be an easy effort. (If you’re not sure, the best way to check is to see if you can speak a full sentence without feeling out of breath. If you’re unable to do that, slow down and relax.)

Slow running helps your body adapt to the training better and improves your body’s efficiency at burning fat as fuel instead of carbs. Fat takes longer to burn whereas carbs are quick burners; therefore, you have a smaller store of carbs to use.

Tip #2

Hydration during a run is very important, especially once it gets warmer outside. Have water with you if at all possible for any run over 30-45 minutes. You don’t always need it, but when it gets very warm out you will be thankful that you remembered to bring it. There are many ways to carry water when running, such as backpacks, belt packs, and vests; the best one for you is whatever is the most comfortable.

Dehydration happens quickly and signs only appear when you’re already dehydrated. In those situations you can’t make up for the water loss quickly. Symptoms include extreme thirst, fatigue, dizziness, and confusion — don’t let them happen to you!

Tip #3

Food is fuel, just like gas is for your car. The less fuel you take in, the smaller the amount of energy you will have to burn while running. The worst thing you can do when training is cutting too many calories and carbs to try to lose weight. It’s a common mistake I’ve seen way too often, with those who make it wondering why they’re lethargic and unable to recover properly.

There’s a wonderful site you can use as a guideline: Daily Caloric Needs. It will give you an idea of how much intake you need on any given training day. Because marathon training requires both easy and hard days, you don’t always need the same amount of nutrition, so blanket calorie counts are inaccurate.

I’m on the Team InterVol Facebook Page, so if any of my fellow team members have a question, feel free ask me personally there and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Until next time, get out there and run!

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