Did you catch my subtle attempt at quoting the movie Forrest Gump? Well I’m going to need to channel his running talent for my next venture. That’s right I’m going to run a marathon! Well a half marathon anyway–I don’t have the endurance or running ability to go all in…YET.
Running a marathon has always been on the bucket list and well, I’m not getting any younger.
What’s My Motivation
I decided that I needed to sign up for a race in order to get my butt off the couch. Honestly, I have been terrible about exercising lately and needed to add some accountability and motivation to get moving…Sad but true. Luckily, my wonderful neighbor and very good friend is going to train and run with me! Hallelujah, and thank you Sage.
A very positive effect of this is that I set a great example for my own children. It’s not enough for me to say you need to exercise. It’s not ok for me to say you need to eat nutritious meals and practice healthy habits for life– I have to practice what I preach.
I found a relatively straight-forward and easy training schedule here from Women’s Running. Yes I’ve been a couch potato lately so its’ title caught my eye, Go From Couch to Half Marathon in 20 Weeks.
Today was in fact my first run. We missed Monday, but hey who’s counting. I enjoyed the run, which was more of a slow jog really, but had issues with a side stitch. I pushed through it, but have since done a bit of research that says to do otherwise.
Tips for avoiding the dreaded side stitch:
- Practice controlled, abdominal breathing. To belly breathe, contract your abdominal muscles, and pull your stomach in as you exhale. Try to force as much air out of the lungs as possible. Then inhale as much as you can. As you inhale, your abs should swell, pushing your stomach out and allowing room for your lungs to fully expand
- Avoid drinking too much water before running. 4-8oz is optimal, but may be too much for some
- Avoid meals or eat a small snack of carbs/protein
- “Exhaling as the opposite foot of the side stitch hits the ground works for me. You blow like you’re blowing out a candle. I haven’t had one since. I also don’t drink anything other than a coffee and eat blueberries before I run.” Nikki Feasel
- Avoid over stride (as is common with downhill sections of a race)
- Warm up for 5 minutes before running/jogging
- Start slow and increase your pace
- Strengthen core muscle, which support trunk and ease breathing
Tips for getting rid of stitches:
- Stop and bend your upper body forward
- Use your hand to press on the painful area and relieve the pressure while breathing out
- Slow your pace
- Stop and perform stretches
Wish me luck! I’m going to need it.
And there you have it. Now get out and run.
By the way, I would love to hear any tips and tricks you have for training for and running a marathon!