It’s always scary when you sign up for a race. No matter the distance, there’s something about it that is exciting yet daunting to me. It gives me excitement and something to look forward too, yet makes me scared at the same time. There are a few things that make training for a marathon easier and I thought I would share a few of my favorites that got me through training for Mountains to Beach. I have a pretty sensitive stomach so I love these bars as they seem to be gentle enough to eat and trying a bunch of different things to see if they work while running isn’t exactly the most fun experiment!
1. This app is amazing and I’ve been using it for a little over a year. Every now and then I switch to map my run, or strava but I’ve always found myself coming back to the tried and true Run Keeper. I love the info it gives me, the splits it gives me and how it has an easy to use online platform as well for tracking and logging my runs. It tracks my miles and gives me a nice map and when I run fast enough it sends me an email with a little trophy and a pat on a the back, which always strokes the ego a little bit. It’s nice to see your monthly stats on the main page when you log in on your phone as well.
2. These Bonk Breaker bars are finally something that my body seems to be okay with and I’ve tried it all I feel like. If my body doesn’t agree with something on a run, it’s pretty much over. I sometimes do peanut butter and jellys on long runs, but these are easier when I don’t want to deal with the plastic baggies. They are a little tough to chew without water, but usually when I am eating on the run, I’m also drinking water, so it works out perfectly. Also – I only eat half of a bar when I’m at the mileage where I need to eat something, usually around 4-6 miles, so I only need two bars for a 20 miler. Peanut Butter and Jelly Bonk Breakers are my favorite!
3. Because when I run I have such a sensitive stomach, I cannot drink any thing besides water. Another thing I’ve tried it all with and the results aren’t pretty. I take these to help with cramping and to make up for the electrolytes that I’m losing from sweating and from the fact that I’ve taken Imodium before the race so that my stomach doesn’t get upset. I swear by these things! I take 2 before a long run and 2 half way through.
4. Recently, TheraPearl sent me a few samples of their icing products and I love them! 95% of the time after I run, I don’t have time to take a full on ice bath and these have saved my knees! The cool thing about them is the fact that they can be heated or frozen, which is great and makes them more versatile and the velcro on the wraps helps keep it in place while you’re getting ready. I also liked the price and bought a few more of their products since they sent me the samples!
5. It’s so important to ALWAYS wear sunscreen. I have pretty bad sun spots on my face from thinking sunscreen was lame throughout high school and tanning in college. A huge stupid regret of mine. Now I always wear a sunscreen and usually double up with a visor whenever I’m outdoors, no matter the weather. This sunscreen is super sheer and dries really nicely and has a high SPF in it, which I like. It’s not that expensive and offers great coverage and doesn’t get into my eyes.
6. To go along with my sensitive stomach, my feet are just as sensitive and I’m constantly struggling with trying to keep toenails from falling off and the insane calluses that I build up. I really like this foot cream because it helps keep my feet in a little bit better condition than doing nothing and it’s easy to put it on before bed with some socks.
7. These headphones have become my tried and true and I’ve tried a LOT of headphones. 6 months ago, they broke and I got the same exact pair again. They never slide out when I sweat which seems to be a big problem for me. I think I may also have small earholes because the majority of headphones don’t stay in well in my ears.
8. Another amazing company that reached out to me is Belle Body Buffers. I was a bit confused when I first visited their website, but when I read more about the product, I understood what their products could do for a runner and how they can really help with recovery. I felt like adding this into my recovery routine helped my muscles bounce back better and also helped my IT Band issues that I sometimes struggle with. I used it often this last training round and though it is pricey, it would be a great gift for Christmas!
I hope this helps next time you’re training for any type of race!