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Posts Tagged ‘Training for Half Marathon’

Make the Most of Your 13.1

Craig DiGiovanni. VP of Sales & Marketing, Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products. Avid Runner. Wannabe Marathoner.

I thought I knew what to expect on my first half marathon (13.1 miles), but quickly realized that I was wrong.   In training for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, I had finally reached the half way mark: 13 miles. I decided to celebrate this milestone by running an official half marathon, and signed up for the Fort Worth Cowtown. The good news is the race turned out to be a far better experience than I expected, but I definitely learned some things that I feel are worth sharing.

Here are some before, during and after tips for making the most of your 13.1 half marathon.

Before the race

  1. Get there early: I got to the race early and was glad.  I didn’t stress about parking, had plenty of time to use the restroom and enjoy the atmosphere.
  2. Go to the bathroom: Using the restroom before the race is a must.
  3. Do what is routine: As per my usual morning runs, I drank a little but didn’t eat before the race. I was glad I didn’t, butterflies were enough for my stomach.
  4. Plan ahead or bring a buddy: Depending on weather, having someone to hand your clothes off to before the race starts is a nice bonus.  Otherwise, you are either cold while you’re waiting in the corals (because you don’t have them) or you are warm but then have to leave them at the start, and go on a crusade to find them after the race.

During the race

  1. Let ‘er rip: My adrenaline must have been way up, because my split times were about the same as my 5K and I held steady the whole race.   I was cautious the whole race about that, but next time I won’t be, and I will be more willing to push my times.
    Practice makes perfect: Running and drinking are an art.   I would try that before the race.   How you get the water in your mouth without showering you and everyone around you, and then how you get it down without coughing…well, it took a little practice.   I am sure I provided a laugh or two for those on the sidelines!
  2. Find flat surfaces: Looking for flat parts of the road are a must if you are prone to shin splints.   It took me about 1 mile to realize that an extra step or two to the left or right to get off an angle in the road was worth it.   The crown of the road or closest to the edges seemed to work the best.   13.1 miles at an angle could be problematic.
  3. Send some thanks: There are so many incredible people volunteering and encouraging runners during races, I wish I would have thanked more of them along the way.  If you have the breath, thank them.
  4. Snack smart: Energy gels really seem to work.  I like Gu and Cliff products because they taste good and go down easy.   Also, find a product that doesn’t produce large fluctuations in your energy; big highs then deep lows.

After the race

  1. Enjoy the moment: Give yourself time to take it all in, don’t rush out to leave so you can enjoy the moment.   I had to high tail it out of there for life’s next event, but wish I could have just hung out a few more minutes to enjoy the post race food and activities, and to let the accomplishment sink in.
  2. Run for fun:  I ran the race just to finish and I am glad that I did. I think it is great to measure your time, but if you aren’t enjoying the people, the scenery and the accomplishment, then it won’t last very long and won’t be much fun.
  3. Bring along recovery tools: If you have a roller, make sure you have it because you will surely need it.  Once you are stagnant your muscles will begin to tighten up. Having tools at the race (in your car, etc) to help stretch and loosen your muscles will help decrease future soreness. I of course am a RangeRoller guy, a must for any post race recovery.

That was my race experience.   Hope these tips help to prepare you for your next race. Let us know if there are any race tips that you swear by, leave us a comment. I hope you enjoy your 13.1!

Let the Training (but not the pain) Begin

Welcome to Craig’s Corner: Running, Stretching, and Training Tips from Craig.

Craig DiGiovanni. VP of Sales & Marketing, Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products. Avid Runner. Wannabe Marathoner.

Now that I’m over 40, being healthy is much harder than it used to be.   I used to think it was cliché but now that I’m living it I get it.  There’s no time for pain or injuries, especially if it impacts my “day jobs” (father, husband, repairman, chauffeur, business person…).  You may be able to relate.

That is where my passion for prevention, and taking that pain away comes into play!

I mentioned my New Year’s Resolution of running a marathon in an earlier post.   Did I mention that I’ve dragged my wife along for the ride?  We decided to train for a half marathon first and then continue to build towards running a full marathon this spring.  It has been a lot of fun so far.   I highly recommend a book that my sister-in-law referred us to, The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer by David Whitsett, Forrest Dolgener and Tanjala Kole. It’s done a great job of breaking down the whole process of training for a marathon, giving you a plan, and providing encouragement.

Professionally and personally, I understand the many challenges running presents to the body (especially as you get older and as you add more mileage)!  I’ve always appreciated and used the ProStretch Plus, but maybe not as consistently as I should have.  As I continue the journey of marathon training, I am beginning to completely understand just how effective the ProStretch Plus is for not only decreasing pain, but also preventing pain from happening in the first place.

What I personally love about all of the ProStretch products is that they are simple and THEY WORK!  The first time I brought one home, my wife laughed at it, but of course that was short lived.  The laughing stopped and the “oo-ing and ah-ing” started right after she used it for the first time.   The ProStretch is one of those products where you realize the benefits it offers once you use it.   You can feel it working instantly and it feels good!

Lately, I’ve had a lot of “experience” with what we call the interconnective chain of the lower leg.  This interconnective chain starts with the calf, goes down to the Achilles tendon, and connects to the calcaneous (heel) bone and the plantar fasciia.  The calf muscles have to work hard when you’re doing something as simple as walking, but they work even harder when you are running, jumping, stopping and starting.  In fact, I’ve read that the second hardest working group of muscles we have in our whole body is our calves.   Because the calf muscles have to work so hard, they are also susceptible to overuse and injury.

I first started using the ProStretch to combat shin splints and the beginning symptoms of Plantar fasciitis.   After I began experiencing these symptoms, I was doing a long warm up and some basic stretching before I ran, and then pro-longed stretches (for 30 – 60 seconds per repetition) after I ran.   Adding ProStretch exercises into my warm up and cool down gave me immediate results. I experienced immediate relief, and over 4 weeks total healing.

The ProStretch and now the new and improved ProStretch Plus, are simply the best devices for stretching the calf muscles and the entire interconnective chain of the lower leg. Next week, more to come on injuries of the lower leg.

Thanks for your interest in our products.  We love to hear from “users” so please leave us a comment and let us know what pain or injury you are suffering from.