One Month-ish Recap: Chicago Marathon Training

One month has already flown by since starting to train for the Chicago Marathon! I can’t believe it. I shared more about my running journey in a previous blog post if you’re interested in checking that out. It has been a little over two years since I have trained for a marathon so I knew it was going to be hard to get back into it, but dang this month has already shown me the challenges that running can bring. Between body parts starting to ache, very early wake up calls to beat the heat, chaffing like no other, I was reminded of it very early on haha. I thought I’d cover a few things in this blog post that i’m doing in my training. I hope to do these throughout the next few months until the race in October! Of course if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out :)

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To start out, it was important for me to get properly fitted for the right shoe. You’re supposed to change out your shoe after putting a lot of mileage on them, and it was definitely time for me. I went to the local Fleet Feet store where they did a Fit ID scan on my feet to show me how funky mine were and then tested all the shoes to find the right one for training. I’ve been loving my New Balance 880v9 . Not only is the right shoe important for training but finding the right clothes to train in. Especially in this heat! I learned the hard way and had some really bad chaffing from shorts. A few of the things that I love are the Outdoor Voices Freeform Shorts, Swiftly Tech Racerback , Fast and Free Tight 28”, and a supportive sports bra! I currently need to update these but I wear a lot of the Champion brand from Target.

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P.s if you’re in Austin (or really anywhere if you look for it) there are so many local free running groups here! They have a weekly meet up where people of all paces get together to run. I have loved being able to connect with these while I’m training. It gives me something to look forward to each week! Check out Fleet Feet for all the events they have—they just had a super fun pancakes & long run event where they served mimosas, pancakes, fruit, Nuun after the run with music and everyone hanging. How fun is that!? A few other local groups are Raw Running and East Side Beer Runners.

Hot/Cold Plunge Pools at Generator Athlete Lab

Hot/Cold Plunge Pools at Generator Athlete Lab

The next thing I wanted to make sure I focused more on this time around was my recovery. I’ve had some injuries from running before, so I want to make sure that doesn't happen again. That meant an actual extensive recovery protocol rather than just rolling on the foam roller. Which is something I definitely recommend incorporating in no matter what you’re doing. I found Generator Athlete Lab here in Austin and love what they are all about! Stated on their site, the Recovery Lab is designed to flush lymphatic system to help decrease pain and inflammation, improve sleep and elevate mood, improve overall wellness and recovery and increase metabolism. They have everything from the full spectrum infrared sauna with light therapy, cold/hot plunge pools, NORMATEC Compression, and the Bulletproof Whole Body Vibration Plate. I seriously leave there feeling SO good. I went the day before a long run and could feel a difference in my legs the next day during my run. This is all knew to me and everyone at Generator Athlete Lab has been so helpful on explaining all the benefits, etc for why I was doing what I was in the recovery lab. If you’re in Austin and want to check this place out, message me because I may be able to help ya out ;)

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My training schedule usually looks different each week as I still am trying to get more of a regular plan, but sometimes I sleep through my alarm haha. For now it’s running 3 days during the week with one weekend long run! The weekend long run will continually get longer as I get more into the training. My running coach is my brother! We both started in this marathon journey a couple years ago and he continued on with it while I stopped training for a while. He’s really knowledgeable on training through the running groups he trained with so I trusted him to make me a schedule that would help me grow in this training period. I’m also just listening to my body and if running isn’t something that I want to do, I don’t do it that day and focus on cross training. I do think there’s a difference between physically not feeling it rather than motivationally not wanting to do it. I try to break through that. I try to do one speed work day during the week which is new to me in my training as well. But it’s important to change paces in runs to start to notice a difference in speed and overall endurance.

As far as food goes, everything is the same as usual for me! I don’t necessarily eat more after a long run mainly because my stomach can’t handle anything until an hour or two after I finish. I’ll sometimes fix a smoothie and then fix something a little more substantial with carbs, fat & protein a little while after. And then after a long run, I usually am a big snacker throughout the day and drinking ATON of water. I’ve mentioned this before but the Nuun tablets are my favorite thing ever. Especially during these runs, I always have one before and after. I always have toast and nut butter with banana before a long run! I need to have something in my stomach and digested before starting. Before a week day run, i’ll usually have a little bit of a protein bar. The night before long runs it’s also important to have a well balanced dinner. You need the fuel to get through the long runs so having anything from some whole wheat pasta, chicken and sweet potatoes is definitely key.

Something that I do to increase my endurance and distance (and really have done ever since I started into all of this) was just build off what you can consistently run each time. Add in 5 more minutes or a half mile each time and continually do that as you run. You’ll be so surprised after you keep doing that how much you’re able to add on and won’t even notice it! A lot of running is mental so if you can push through that (for example, not focusing on the fact that you’ve only done ___ many miles before, or that running __ seems not even possible) you’d get through the hardest part. I see a lot of times people saying they aren’t a runner and making that an excuse for why they can’t do a certain run or race. But the reality is, if you run/have ran then you’re a runner. A lot of training for a marathon or races in general consists of fighting through the limits that your mind puts up.

Right now, I’m really just eager to get closer to this race. Already looking at where I want to go to eat in Chicago haha. But getting back into consistently running again feels good so I’m excited about that. If you have any questions regarding training, let me know! xx