Maree’s 26.2 Journey is my Blog about training for my first marathon. I will be running the Chicago Marathon in October, and I am currently about six weeks into my training program. Follow my Blog to find out more!

Last Friday I shared the stories of fellow Eastbay employees who also love to run. I get a lot advice on training for my marathon from other experienced runners. This week, my co-worker Beth, who has run marathons herself, shared some tips for the longer runs involved in marathon training.

1)      When you start doing long runs, make sure you eat right the day before and the morning of the run. Make sure you consume a lot of carbohydrates and stay hydrated.

2)      When running out in rural areas, hide items like energy bars and energy drinks along your route before you begin so that you can refuel without having to carry things with you.

3)      Remember that water is not enough to keep you hydrated on long runs – you need energy drinks with electrolytes to replenish your body’s natural mineral salts that are lost due to sweating. Electrolytes prevent cramping and help you recover faster.

4)      The long runs are the most important workouts during your training – don’t skip them!

5)      Focus on maintaining a steady pace throughout your run. Don’t go too fast in the beginning so that you can be sure to finish.

Beth told me that when she ran the Whistle Stop Marathon in the pictures below, she got so pumped up in the beginning that she went out faster than her intended race pace, which made the second half of the marathon a struggle. I know that when I run the Chicago Marathon I will be tempted to do the same thing because of the adrenaline rush at the start, but I’m hoping running with my friends will keep us all disciplined to stay at our goal pace.

I enjoy my long runs because they give me a chance to be alone and think; however, it’s also rewarding to do long runs with my friends because we can talk, which makes the run go faster. Usually when I run by myself I listen to a music playlist that keeps me motivated, but I don’t plan on running to music once I get back to school and can run with my friends. I am looking forward to being back in Chicago where I can go for long training runs with my friends who are also doing the marathon.

Beth running the Whistle Stop Marathon