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Time flies. I feel like I just started training for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, and all of a sudden the race is nine days away. Preparing for a marathon is always tough, and for me this time was no exception. But the great thing about a training cycle is that you learn a few new pearls of wisdom each time around the block. Here are three running truisms that I gained a new appreciation for in the past 12 weeks.
1. Hydrating makes a HUGE difference.
I always knew hydration was important. But marathon training in hot and sticky Florida really drove this point home. Did you know that just one pound of water loss can negatively impact performance by upwards of 10 percent? That’s the difference between a 4:00 and 3:36 marathon! Too many runners (myself included) are afraid of getting a “sloshy stomach” or think they don’t really need water right now. You do! I finally came to terms with the fact that the occasional slosh is so worth the performance benefits.
2. A running partner is invaluable.
This doesn’t come as a shock to anyone with a running buddy. They are the best. I love running with company, but I’d never had a friend who was preparing for a marathon at the same time as me before. While training for Cleveland, I did the majority of my long runs with my good friend Christine. There was a moment 18 miles into a particularly grueling 20-mile run when I realized: If she weren’t here, I’d probably be walking right now. Even though my calves were on fire, I didn’t want to let Christine down. I can’t think of better motivation than that.
3. More isn’t always better.
Just six months ago, I didn’t think I’d ever be able to run another marathon. I may have a flair for the dramatic, but it’s true. I’d been injured for six months, unable to run more than a mile, and the pain showed no sign of stopping. Thankfully, I got better. But I learned in the process to back off before nagging discomfort turns into full-blown pain. Maybe if I pushed a little harder or ran a little farther, I could finish the marathon on Sunday with a slightly faster time. Who cares? I got through four months of training and feel confident that I’ll be running many more marathons to come. That makes me happier than a P.R. ever could.
I want to know: What lessons have you learned from running? Share your wisdom here or on Twitter @JessieSebor.
50 DAYS OF GIVEAWAYS
Today’s prize. . .
1 Pair of CUSHE Post-Run Slippers
One lucky reader will win a pair of Cushe Post-Run Women’s Slippers. The shoe’s breathable canvas lining paired with a microfiber in-sock provides maximum comfort post-run. Worth $50, cushe.com
How to enter. . .
- Comment on this post to be entered to win.
- If you share our post on Twitter or Facebook, mention this in the comment and your entry will count twice. One comment per email address will be allowed each day.
- Winner(s) will be announced the following day at the bottom of the blog post. Check in tomorrow to see if you won.
- Good luck!!
Yesterday’s winner. .
Congratulations to Tennille Wade who won a 2-person stay at Active at Altitude running camp. Please email Jessica@womensrunning.com with your mailing address to claim your prize!