As the Marine Corps Marathon approaches we are back with some advice from our friends training with RunningBrooke. As we have followed these runners through their training and as race day approaches they offer some game day tips and hints. Hint number one- race day is October 30!
Glen Stone is a seasoned marathoner but that does not mean getting to the start line is easy. Glen has been training with RunningBrooke for Marine Corps but made one tiny error, the date of the actual race. Glen thought the MCM was on Oct 15, he’s not sure how that happened but it did. With October 15th in mind, he did his 20 miler on August 27th and then a full 26 mile run on September 3rd. To remedy this planning oversight he put another 20 miler into the mix and has been doing some hard 10 milers during the week. Glen is either ready for a huge nap or to run a big race.
Susan Jasmin, not only works with RunningBrooke, she’s training with the team to run another MCM. Susan offers some smart advice for race day, find someone out on the course you can pace off of without being too obvious. Susan had found this strategy very helpful and when you find the right person can keep you from going out too fast. In the 2008 Boston Marathon Susan followed a young woman with a long ponytail for about half the race. Only after seeing a story in the Boston Globe the next day did Susan realize the woman (secretly) pacing her was Sunita Williams. Williams is an astronaut who ran the Boston Marathon in April 2007 while on a mission on the International Space Station, making her the first person to run a marathon in space.
On the flip side of that, Susan has a word to the wise about Gu. She has forever imprinted in her brain an image from Marine Corps 2003 when a young woman projectile vomited Gu on the Key Bridge while her friend held back her hair. Please note: both women were still running! The take away is, go easy on the Gu first thing in the morning.
Ken Zambito has run a number of marathons and his advice is geared toward first timers but is actually great for all of us. He advises runners to look at the race as having two halves: the first 20 and the last 6. Even if you feel great at mile 13 that does not mean you should increase your pace.
When it comes to nutrition, Ken advises runners not to wait until late in the race to start fueling (but see Susan’s advice about Gu!). Have a plan to fuel throughout the race with nutrition you have practiced with.
Also, sometimes people get caught up in their training plan details and try and make up for “missed” mileage as the race gets close. You will not get any better in the last two weeks, but you can sure get a lot worse. “Cramming for the exam” can lead to injuries and excess fatigue and will ruin your race.
During the race, find people to chat with, it is amazing what a difference that can make in taking your mind off the miles and the fatigue. The entire race experience will be more enjoyable, and you never know what new friends you might make.
Brooke Snydor Curran, the Brooke of RunningBrooke, will complete her 100th marathon at Marine Corps. Her advice is sound: have a Plan A, Plan B, and maybe even a Plan C. You could feel great on race day and everything could go your way. Or, sometimes that is not the case at all and race day does not play out the way you hoped or planned. Brooke admits she has been passed and outrun tons of times. If you run and meet your time goals or not, be grateful that your body can run 26. For you step counters that equals about 44,400 steps which is pretty remarkable.
Thanks to the team from RunningBrooke for allowing us to follow your journeys to the start line and we will see you out there next Sunday. Keep up the good work and we are excited for you all to meet your goals.