Coach Baisley: How long does it take you to train for a marathon?
John: The success of your race is only as good as the dedication before and during marathon training which normally lasts for 18 weeks prior to race day. I recommend a well-rounded fitness approach before and during the actual marathon training including strength training, cross-fit, and yoga. This will promote a strong core, overall strength, flexibility and breaks up the routine of only running. I also recommend running with a group. There are running groups in most areas that offer moral support and that will help you push your fitness goals.
Coach Baisley: How do you feel after you cross that finish line?
John: That usually depends on how I train. If I was a slacker during training, I usually want to crawl into the massage tent or take a nap. If I have done a good job training, I typically feel exhilarated, full of energy and a great sense of accomplishment. In most cases, I ride an endorphin high for several days after the race.
Coach Baisley: Do you ever want to give up in the middle of a run?
John: I believe thoughts of giving up goes through every runner's mind at some point during training or the race. It is important to meet the goals you have set and overcome thoughts of quitting….mind over body. The big exception is pain from an injury. Don’t be a hero trying to run through an injury. You are better off taking a break from running to heal and run the next race instead of making an injury worse.
Coach Baisley: What do you typically eat before and after a run?
John: Diet is important during the 18 week training period and during the race. Lots of water, foods high in lean protein, healthy fats (avocado, nuts, fish oil), and complex carbohydrates (salads, veggies, quinoa) will be very beneficial for recovery, reduce inflammation, and overall health. Whatever you use, race day should not be the first time you “try” a new product including what you consume or wear.
Coach Baisley: Is it expensive to run?
John: The cost is all relative to priorities in life but running does not have to be expensive. You can spend lots of money on clothes, shoes, or the newest gadget but it’s not necessary. Make sure you are running in a good pair of shoes with proper fit. Most good running stores will have you run on a treadmill to determine your stride and the best type of shoe that meets your needs and reduce the chances of injury. Otherwise, a regular shorts and T-shirt will suffice.
Coach Baisley: How about the cost of entering marathons?
John: Marathons can get expensive depending on how well the route is supported with beverages and T-shirts/medals given. Early signup discounts are normally available to help if you plan ahead. I have seen marathon entry fees range from $60-$180 but it really depends on what is included.
Coach Baisley: What advice would you give to someone that has been thinking about running a half or full marathon?
John: I would recommend running some 5 or 10 K’s first and see how you feel. If you make a commitment to run a half or full marathon, stick with it. You will likely go through some adversity in 18 weeks with work, schedules, family and will be tough to get your miles sometimes but stick with it. Most things worth having require some sacrifice.
*Thanks John Schmidt for your tips and personal experiences with running that you have shared with all of us!
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