marathon training FAQs!
As most of you know by now, I’m currently in the middle of my training for the BMW Dallas Marathon. I’ve done four half marathons before, but this is my first full, and TBH I feel like a total newb. I went into marathon training thinking “I love running, it comes natural to me, this will be a challenge but I can do this!”. And while I still think “I can do this”, it’s already been one of the most challenging experiences of my life.I don’t say that to scare you away from doing a full marathon… but just so you’ll go into it with eyes wide open. The training will challenge you like you’ve never been challenged before, and make you appreciate your healthy body like you never have before!
I’ve gotten a ton of questions from y’all about marathon training or just running in general…so I thought it’d be helpful if I did one post answering ALL of your marathon training / running questions!
Question #1: What shoes do you recommend for running?
Personally, ASICS are my go-to running shoe, especially for long distance. I have and love all three of the ASICS shoes below:
Having said that, please know that there is not a “one size fits all” running shoe. Every runner is different, every foot is different, everyone has different needs in running. Some people pronate, some supinate, some need alot of support, some have bad knees, etc. SO, I personally am a pretty neutral runner. I do not pronate or supinate and don’t need a ton of support. If you fall into that category, you’ll probably love the shoes I listed above. I highly recommend though going to Run On or Luke’s Locker and having one of their associates fit you for the type of shoe you need! They will watch you walk / run and make suggestions based off of that!
(Side note: I obviously love Nikes but have never liked them for running. I use them for cross training like weight-lifting, walking, HIIT workouts, but I don’t run more than 3-4 miles in Nikes. Just a personal preference thing!)
Question #2: What do you listen to while you run?
I listen to Spotify while I run – either their pre-set playlists (I like the Cardio, Workout, or Top Worship Music playlists), or I’ll just look up some of my fave bands which varies depending on my mood haha. But I love listening to Hillsong Worship, Bethel, Chainsmokers, Mumford & Sons…a huge variety! I’ve created a playlist on spotify called “run” with some of my fave running james. My username is laurenkaysims.
I recently started listening to podcasts on my really long runs – currently going through “Up and Vanished” which is SO good. I will say though…it’s hard for me to pay super close attention to podcasts while I’m running. The thing I love about running is being able to zone out, or pray or worship. And it’s sometimes hard to do that with a podcast.
Question #3: What fitness watch / app do you use to track your runs?
I’m currently running with the Apple Watch Series 3 (not the cellular version), but I also recently tested out the Garmin Fenix 5s and loved that. Both of these are awesome watches to track your runs with. (Side note – I will be doing a blog post within the next month all about the Garmin Fenix 5s so stay tuned).
I just use the built in fitness app on the Apple Watch to track my runs. I don’t use any other app.
Question #4: What training plan do you use for marathon training?
I’m using the Hal Higdon marathon training program – for intermediate runners. Looking back I kind of wish I would have chosen the beginner program because you log SO MANY MILES a week with this program! It’s been pretty challenging. Overall though I really like his plans. He also has half marathon training plans that I’ve used before and really like.
Question #5: What ear buds do you use?
I wear these wireless headphones and have used them for years. They are bluetooth and stay in your ears really well + the sound quality is great.
Question #6: What do you use to carry your phone while you run?
I typically just hold my phone while I’m running. It doesn’t bother me. But if I’m going 10 miles or longer, I wear this sports bra because it actually holds your phone in the back! I have the iPhone 7+ and it fits perfectly, but it would also hold the 7!
Question #7: Do you take / eat anything during your long runs?
Yes! You’re supposed to replenish your carbs / electrolytes every 45mins during long runs. So I either take these sport beans or this rehydrate gel from advocare. On a long run (ie 15 miles), I’ll usually take this around mile 6 and mile 12.
Question #8: How did you build up to such long miles? I can’t seem to get past 4 or 5
The answer to this question is different for everyone. But first and foremost…distance running takes time. I didn’t just wake up one morning and go run 8 miles. When I first started running (about 10 years ago), I remember the first time I ran 3 miles and was SO PROUD of myself! If you’re max right now is 4 or 5, first of all, that’s great! Second of all…try building onto that slowly, and with consistently. Look up a 10K training plan (even if you’re not doing a 10K), and the plan will give you ideas for how to build onto your mileage. Overall though, just know that it takes time and consistency. The marathon training plan I’m doing is nearly 5 months long! Building up to 26 miles does not happen overnight.
Question #9: Do you eat any differently during your marathon training?
YES. Now that I’m running around 40ish miles a week, I’ve noticed that I am hungry ALL the time. So I eat 3 full meals a day with 3 snacks. I typically ate like that before marathon training, but now my meals and snacks are just bigger. I eat a ton of protein (I love G2G bars, RX bars, Fitjoy bars), and drink a lot more water. On the nights before my long run I carb load like crazy because it gives me fuel for the distance I have to go the next day. Also I typically won’t drink any alcohol the day before a long run.Question #10: What supplements do you take before a run?
Before any run or any workout, I take Spark for energy and focus. Before a long run (or long-ish run…6 miles or longer), I take O2 Gold to support my body’s use of oxygen, and also for increased energy. See this post for more details on my regular supplements!
I think that answers the majority of the questions I’ve been getting about marathon training! I have so appreciated all the support you guys have given me via instagram throughout my training. I’m currently not running with any kind of running group which can be challenging…so having y’alls support has been more helpful than you know!
Are any of you guys doing the BMW Dallas Marathon, or the half?! Let me know in the comments below!