On the heels of the 2015 Marshall University Marathon, it felt natural to write about the ins and outs of fueling, training and preparing for distance running and brag about some of my awesome friends who ran their first, fifth, twenty-fifth and even 175th long distance race!
If there’s one thing about running that makes it one of the most participated sports on the planet, it’s that we are all born with the genetic predisposition to do it. Innately, we all have the genes to run from tigers, bears, or snakes in the wild. We all possess the genetic make-up to move much more quickly than often times how we choose to. Lots of books, articles, and white papers cite this, and even one book which touts this idea, Born to Run, is on its way to becoming a major motion picture. But, having the ability to run is one thing, making time for running in a world where sitting is now the new norm can be the tricky part.
Running for me started as most kids, something I did without thought. As a child, I remember running aimlessly up and down the hillsides, through the woods, creek beds, and hay fields. Running from my brothers when they chased me and even from my parents when I might have provoked my brothers to chase me and thus…I was probably in big trouble!
As I grew older and joined organized sports, running became a way to perform better or maybe even get a leg up on the competition. As I got even more involved in organized sports, I quickly learned that running was also a form of punishment. :\ Love-hate quickly became the way I felt toward running. My relationship with running for fun was on again off again for several years, but each time coming back to, I always enjoyed the solace it provided, the moving meditation it allowed for, and the heart racing, adrenaline rush it gave each time I got less than a mile in.
My love-hate running relationship ended when I found my tribe, The Huntington Road Runners, and running quickly became more of a long term, unconditional love type relationship. While I love and cherish the solitude of a solo long run, there’s something ancestral about running with a pack that makes it even more enjoyable. Regardless if I make it every week or I don’t, I have peace in knowing that Tuesday and Thursday at 6pm my tribe will be at The Ritter Park Rose Garden and Marshall Rec Center, ready and waiting to blaze the streets and hills of Huntington as a pack.
Having the fortune to meet and mingle with other runners, I quickly discovered that while all of us started running for various reasons, while we all travel at different speeds and go various distances, we all shared a common running shoe-string, err thread… We all knew we possessed the capacity to do it. We all started by walking, and no matter how much we might dread the idea of taking that first step, we all would agree we felt better and never (or rarely ever) regretted taking off once the run was over.
I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of Runnington (check us out featured in an article from Runner’s World here), and I have no shame in trying to rally others to start moving their body’s the way nature intended.
Below I’ve included a training plan fit for anyone to get started training for any distance. Whether you used to run, have never ran, or simply prefer walking, challenge yourself to go the extra distance. The plan is designed to cater to any entry point and the number one thing to keep in mind is to ‘Do What You Can!’ Just because the plan says 45 min, doesn’t mean that only doing 15 isn’t going to get you somewhere. If you think 6 miles is way too far, give it a go and see how far your mind (I mean legs) take you! The only limitations are the ones we place on ourselves. It’s amazing to see what the body is capable of when the mind decides to get out of the way. Just ask any of these awesome folks who ran this year’s Marshall University Marathon!
Action photos are available at Game Face Media
For more race info, highlights, and result or to sign up for next year’s race, check out the Marshall University Marathon Page for details.
We always love to hear how you train and fuel for events. Let us know by commenting below or on our FB or sending us a tweet.
If you’re interested in a more specific/ tailor-made training or nutrition planning, please reach out. Emails directed to dietitian-athlete Lacydavidson@me.com will typically be responded to same day!