September is a fresh start. A sort of New Year. Back to school, training and goals with freshly sharpened pencils and focus. While we might not be headed back to school literally, the start of a school year is a reminder to always be learning.
Who better to learn from than our pros? We might not all be marathoners, 5k studs or hammer throwers but there are things they do on the daily that can inspire our own personal autumn metamorphosis as we aim towards our goals. Kara Goucher kicks it off.
Don't skip sleep.
Sleep is so important. In fact, sometimes it can be more beneficial to your body to run a few less miles and get an extra hour of sleep. Before I had my son I used to sleep a lot. I’d sleep 10 hours at night and nap for two hours a day. I don’t do that anymore, but I still need 8-9 at night and I nap 2-3 days a week. Once I start dipping under that 8 hour mark, I start to feel run down and I know I’m not recovering as well. Everyday is the same for me because of training, but you can catch up a bit on sleep on the weekends if your schedule allows.
At every dinner meal your plate should look something like this...
You should be getting ample carbs and fat. Runners tend to forget about the fat, but it’s really good for you. Eating fat actually helps you become a fat burner. So include some fat, make sure you get plenty of carbs, and get protein from lean meats or protein rich foods like lentils or quinoa.
Do core work.
Core work is very important as a marathoner and runner. You are out there running for a long time and you need your body to stay strong in the latter stages of the race and in the long weeks of training. The simplest and most effective core moves and planks in all planes (regular, side, reverse) and hip bridges. You can do many variations of both of these exercises and they are important on keeping a strong core during marathon training.
Long run once per week.
My long run varies but I do believe that the rule that your long run should be 20% of your mileage is a good guide. If you are getting ready for a marathon and can only squeeze in 25 miles a week over 5 days, then you would want to break that rule and make your long run significantly higher than 20%. But in general, I think it’s a good rule to follow. The main thing you want to do is to slowly continually increase your long run. The long run is such an important part of training for the marathon. I consider it my most important run of the week. It is the workout that gives my body the best adaptation to what the race will be like. So make sure you keep your long run a priority.