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Top 25 Marathon Training Tips
Let’s get started!
Coach Mark Buciak, from The Road to Boston, is one of the training partners working with our Mercy Home Heroes this year to help them prepare to run 26.2 miles in honor of our kids. As marathon training season begins, Coach Mark wanted to share his top training tips to ensure success!
Before you do anything, write a commitment letter to yourself, sign it, then post it!
- Schedule an annual physical and Electrocardiogram (or EKG) ASAP. Tell your doctor you are about to train for a marathon and ask your doctor if there are any reasons you should NOT train for a marathon.
- Always wear an ID. Road ID makes several great products.
- Take a CPR class to become certified in this life-saving skill.
- Get fitted for and purchase the correct pair of shoes. Better yet, purchase two pairs.
- Start a running log book to record your training, especially how you feel: physically and mentally. Rate how you feel on a scale of “0 to 5” before and after each run and workout.
- The number one mistake almost every runner makes: Too Much, Too Soon, Too Fast.
- Less is more! You should not MAX out each day.
- Running days will vary between longer and slower; recovery; shorter and quicker; relaxed; and days off.
- Set goals not only for marathon day but monthly, weekly and daily goals too.
- Goals should be realistic with objective criteria and likely will change throughout the season.
- A runner’s diet is important. The best food: bananas. The worst food: diet soda. Consider seeing a registered dietitian if you are able.
- What to wear: light colors, dry-fit, wicking materials. What not to wear: dark colors, cotton.
- Additional protection: Consider sunglasses, visors, hats, no sunscreen.
- Warm up, cool down. Always check the temps and wind direction before heading out.
- Adjust your workouts in extreme heat. Check the numbers, especially air quality. Heat: Run shorter and slower, run earlier, run inside, or don’t run at all.
- Drink: The best strategy is drinking small amounts, early and often. Drink before, during and after your runs. Consider a portable water system, (like a Camelbak), when running.
- Relax and enjoy your runs. They should decrease stress in your life, not add to it.
- When running in the dark, always wear reflective clothing and no headphones!
- Cross Training: Yoga, Pilates, Spinning, Pool Work and core work are all valuable.
- Questionnaire: If you are running with me, I want to know about your past, present, and future.
- Know at what level you want to train. Beginner, intermediate, etc.
- Make a calendar of key dates and events: you don’t want to miss these!
- Your key run: the 20 MILER. Find out when your training program is doing theirs and make sure you can join!
- Join Coach Mark for his weekly Saturday runs from Oz Park (at Larrabee & Dickens in Chicago) and for a once-a-month run in the woods.
- Train with a friend! Ask a friend to join the Mercy Home Heroes Team. We still have official entries but they must commit VERY SOON.