Marathon Talk with Monica

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Hi, I'm Tina!

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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Good morning! Happy FRIDAY!

As you know, I’m training for the Boston Marathon with Team Stonyfield. It’ll actually be my third marathon, but since it’s been awhile since I last ran one (3+ years), I’m feeling a little rusty with my training knowledge. Well, ok, truthfully, I feel like a total newbie sometimes, so I’ve been asking Monica all sorts of questions. She’s a good friend of mine and she’s run a lot of marathons over the years, so she knows a lot about training and has some really awesome advice. I also talk to her multiple times a day via WhatsApp, so she replies to my questions almost immediately, which is super helpful when something pops up right before I am about to head out for a run (like the fueling question below).

If you’re new to marathon training or just feel like a newbie like I do sometimes, here are some questions that I recently asked Monica and her replies. I hope you find them helpful!

Does 40 minutes of a CrossFit or bootcamp-type workout count as a 40-minute run?

No. Unless the bootcamp is 96% steady state cardio, which would be a weird class. A 40-minute run is intended to be 40 minutes of building up your cardiovascular endurance. Most CrossFit classes are more High Intensity (HIIT) bursts, strength and pushing your body/muscles to fatigue. Maybe if the training plan asked you to do a speed session with short intervals it would work, but just because something is exercise doesn’t mean you can replace one with another.

Do I need to fuel for a 90-minute run?

AH! This is a tough one because your body usually has enough fuel to keep you going for 90 minutes of running. But, this depends on your body, what you ate before the run and how hydrated you were at the start. So this specific 90-minute mark requires your own discretion and knowledge of YOUR BODY.

I suggest taking fuel with you and using it if you feel like you’re hitting a wall or unusually sluggish. “Fuel” can be anything from Gatorade to a PB&J. Again, figure out what your body needs.

How the heck am I going to survive winter running?

You might not, it was nice knowing you”¦

The reality is training for a Spring marathon means running long in the winter. It’s tough! Each week as you plan out your training, check the weather report and adjust your training schedule accordingly. Don’t plan your long run on a snow day! Switch things around so you’re running outside on the best weather days and do your cross-training on bad weather days.

Also – gear up! Invest in some good cold weather running gear like quality tights, ear covers, gloves and a vest or jacket. Wear a sweat-wicking layer on the bottom.

My knee hurts. Wah. What do I do?

Ask yourself, “Is this injury pain or fatigue pain?” There are a lot of aches and pains that come along with training for a marathon. It’s important to know your body.

If your knee is just ”˜complaining’ that it’s tired, rest it and baby it with RICE RICE baby (Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation). But, if it is a shooting pain or and feels more like it may be injured, you need to take time off running and potentially get it looked at by a doctor.

You don’t want to keep running on an injury that changes your gait so if you have to stop and walk or stop running for a bit to let something heal. It’s for the best long-term. Remember this is a marathon not a sprint (literally)!

I’m not a fan of carrying water with me. Any suggestions for hydration during my long runs?

Me either! I plan my long runs in areas where I know there will be water fountains. When that’s not enough, I take a waist pack with water, but just fill up one 10oz. bottle and refill it at the fountains so I don’t have to carry more than 10oz. at a time.

Sometimes you just have to get used to carrying water, but the good news is when you don’t have it with you you’ll feel a lot lighter and faster! It’s a little awkward at first, but it’s better to be slightly uncomfortable and hydrated since being dehydrated can really hurt your performance.

How do I not eat everything in sight after my long run?

Wait. We’re not supposed to do that?! I wish someone would have told me years ago”¦

First make sure you are properly fueled before and during your run. If you start off hungry you are going to build up your hunger that much more during all those miles.

Second refuel within an hour of finishing your long run. I know sometimes this isn’t convenient, but it’s important both for recovery and for satisfying that marathon hunger that will come later in the day of a long run. If you’re not super hungry immediately after a run have something like a smoothie.

Third make sure you are hydrated, sometimes our bodies mistake thirst for hunger.

If all those bases are covered and you’re hungry – eat! You are torching a lot of calories and need to replenish those energy stores since you’ll be back at it soon enough.

Question of the Day

Have any running questions for Monica?

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