Hello Everyone! Here is my final Pre-Marathon blog post.
The last time you all heard from me, I shared some “pearls of wisdom” that I have learned while training for my first half marathon. I have found that the best resource for training tips is listening to those who have trained before you.
At the time of my last post, I had achieved 7 miles but man did I struggle! I kept getting fatigue and muscle tension that was leading to pain. I thought, “I pushed my endurance and strength training hard to be able to handle more than 6 miles and I didn’t get this “tanked” feeling. What could be the problem?”
One topic I brought up on the first blog was my diet. I talked about how I had prepared prior to training, the changes I was going to make during training, and why it was important to give my body the energy it needed to sustain long duration activity. I didn’t do it. I started to eat more carbs to fuel my body, and did not stay with the keto diet which I was doing during HIIT training. I kept with intermittent fasting because my blood sugars are more stable and I feel better with that diet. I thought that if I ate a higher carb dinner than my runs would be fueled in the morning. This was true up until 6 miles and I expended most of my energy storage. I started to have oatmeal ~1-1.5 hours before my run to get some long lasting carbs and time to digest before running. This seemed to give me more energy through my runs up to a 7 mile range but I was still feeling tired.
When in doubt, talk to a marathon runner! His answer, supplement intake while running. Oh my gosh! How could I forget that my muscles were completely out of “immediate” energy stores to keep pace while running. I had read so much and was not new to the idea of gels, caffeine, or electrolyte intake while running, but I had just not followed through with the idea that I needed them. My next run, I supplemented prior to each of my typical “slumps” getting myself all the way to 10 miles! I felt I could actually keep going but thought no need to overdo it and risk injury too early.
My muscles were exhausted and tight AFTER I stopped running. I stretched and did some easy dynamic movements in the pool and had no lasting pain. I am feeling ready for this run! I plan on doing one last long-ish run this weekend because of recent travel and lack of opportunities to perform longer runs. This will give me that last confidence boost that I can accomplish my bucket list goal.
Wish me luck! That’s the latest update. Follow the series on the Mobilize Physical Therapy Blog or Instagram.
Shawnee Perkins PT, DPT is a Physical Therapist at Mobilize Physical Therapy in Seattle, Washington. You can schedule with Shawnee online at mobilizept.com.