FITNESS GAL: Running the Course!

By   |   November 11, 2010   |   Fitness

Fitness Gal is back with her goal for the 2011 Marathon!

I did it!

I registered for the 2011 ING New York City Marathon! With that said, I kept my eye on this year’s race. It was amazing!

The 40th running of ING NYC Marathon featured the strongest showing yet of an American woman runner, 10,000 meter Olympic Bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan of Portland, Ore., finished the race in a strong second with a time of 2:28:40. She credited her strong finish to her intense training in the high altitudes of Mammoth Lakes, Calif. She says she is ΓÇ£absolutely hooked,ΓÇ¥ and plans to compete in the 2012 London Olympics.

You too can be hooked on marathons just like Shalane.

Here are some tips to help you run your first Marathon.
As always, check with your physician before participating in any exercise routine.

Once medically cleared getting the right running shoe is key! Many runner stores offer expert advice on sneaker selection; some even have systems to determine your running stride. ItΓÇÖs a good idea to start there.

I like to use lightweight and supportive sneakers.

Next begins your training. A marathon is both grueling and demanding on the body and pushes your physical limits to the max. But just as important as the physical stamina is, the mental stamina is just as challenging.

Train the body as well as the mind to perform at its best. Before each run start off with at least 10 minutes of stretching. Like any exercise routine a good stretch goes a long way in minimizing injury.

Once warmed up, I advise running laps at a nearby park or if a track is available, as a beginning point.

Drink plenty of fluids. Adding a strong protein and carbohydrate diet goes a long way to supply your body the nutrients it needs to sustain you on your run.

If itΓÇÖs your first time, how many miles you run now is not important. What is important is your breathing technique, your running posture and mental picture.
Breathe in through your nose and out your mouth and try to run as upright as possible, as this places less stress on the knees. As for your mental picture I like to vision the end point I am running to and just smile on the way there.

Keep a record of your runs as a progress report. Some tracks will tell you how many laps it takes to complete one mile, but todayΓÇÖs smart phones have so many Apps and GPS which can track your run time and distance for you, allowing you to save it in a file.

Use the track to train your breathing and stamina. Once youΓÇÖve mastered running at least 3 miles on the track, you can now plan a safe route on streets. Start to move your distance up in miles from three to 5.5 and to 10. Always drink plenty of fluids before and after you finish the run. Once you get to ten to 13 miles, youΓÇÖre at a half-marathon.

Run six miles a day for the next five days. If you’re doing the math you can see youΓÇÖve already ran four miles over a marathon in the course of a week. Add in a few long runs equaling the time it would conceivably take you to run the entire course three or four weeks before race day. Now youΓÇÖre on your way to competing in races.

Well, I better get running myself!

Filed Under: Fitness

Leave a Comment


  1. Shay
    Thursday, November 11th, 2010
    Hey Fitness Gal-
    Great article! Good luck with next year's Marathon. I saw Run Fat Boy Run last year and it was a great movie to make you want to run a marathon! When you're not feeling like running I suggest you watch it!
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