Things aren’t going well. It’s time to make changes. The following list shows what has to change ASAP or else this Marine Corps Marathon isn’t going to go well (I’m talking not finishing here). Only 100 days left before Marine Corps Marathon here!!
#1 – Hydrate Properly
Don’t just SAY you’re going to hydrate properly or half ass hydrating properly. DO IT! How many leg cramps do you need before you get this through your head?! If you’re still cramping up, you’re not drinking enough. Adjust! And start using the four 8oz bottles instead of just the two. At 93 degrees every day, with a “feels like” 100 degrees and over 60% humidity, it’s a plain necessity.
#2 – Slow Down
Yes yes yes, I’ve heard it all before. It feels good to run at that faster pace. It feels normal. That doesn’t matter. Your LEG is telling you it’s too fast (either that or it’s your hydration, but until we find out which, let’s assume it’s your pace that is aggravating your injured hamstring). Regardless of the leg, you KNOW you are supposed to do your long runs at a slower pace. It says that everywhere. Everyone knows it. DO IT!
#3 – Lose Weight
Remember when you said you were going to lose 20 lbs to get to your fighting weight? Umm… what happened there??? Oh yes, you were struggling with just finding the motivation to do your mileage and to run 4 days a week. Ok. I see. But now?… Now what? If you are hitting your mileage and your training days, then it’s time to move on to the “lose 20 lbs” plan. You’re still under your max weight for your height you say? That “healthy range” is 25lbs deep! Don’t kid yourself, you’re still a fat runner. Oh and the reason you’re so hot every run is because you have 20 lbs of insulation covering your body. Shed that fat parka, buddy. LOSE THE WEIGHT!
#4 – Roller It Out
Just because your IT Band hasn’t been acting up or giving you trouble, doesn’t mean it won’t. This is your only recurrent physical issue – pay attention to it!
#5 – Respect Recovery
This means 8 hours of sleep is your goal and you should try to achieve it! This means eat directly after your long run. No ridiculous excuses. This means hydrating after your runs. This also means no bad foods after a run – only recovery foods. They help with muscle repair and also help you achieve #3.
#6 – Eat Right
Yes, that doughnut does look good. Yes, most people have beer on Saturday nights and you only want one or two max so what’s the problem? The problem is that YOU have to get up at 5am to run 14 miles! The problem is that even one drink makes you feel like shit. The problem is that that doughnut, besides being a horrible carcinogen, is doing nothing at all for your training or weight loss and, really, is just a gateway to your coffee addiction. Knock it off. No more junk. As the great and revered Queen Elsa says – let it go!
#7 – Do Your Ab Work
It sucks. Everyone knows that. But you have to do it. It will help your running. It helps your back pain. It helps with weight loss. And it takes barely any time to do. It’s a no-brainer.
#8 – Coffee Is Not The Base Of Your Nutritional Pyramid
This one pains me to have to scold you about. I feel for you. You have two kids 3 and under, you work full time, you go to grad school full time, you are training for a marathon… it’s tough. You feel like you NEED that coffee. But you don’t! Ask yourself honestly, does it really make you feel better? Does it make you feel more energized? Maybe for the short term but not enough to justify your super strong twice a day refuels of late. Trust me on this one. Start drinking tea or start drinking weaker coffee or start drinking only once a day. Anything! You’ll feel better. You’ll eat and drink better. You’ll sleep better.