Hey AfterShokz fam - so good to be checking in with you all again!
Really quick - how is Fall here and basically gone already?
OMG. That means my race is like six weeks away! 😱
As many of you know, I’m training for my first Marathon, running the Honolulu Marathon on December 9, 2018. I’ve written about why I’m training for my first 26.2, why training with a crew is HUGE, and how to meal prep during a Marathon training cycle.
As race day approaches, and my nervousness grows and swells and mushrooms into a...I don’t know, GIANT... my friends at BibRave recommended I start reviewing my gear strategy.
The first thing Tim asked about were my shoes. “Please,” I said with my verbal and physical hand up to stop his silly, remedial questions. “I picked out my shoes MONTHS ago when I started running. I’m good.”
“Ooooo-kay,” he said, suspiciously. “How many miles are on those shoes by now?”
“I don’t know. Who knows these things?”
“Well, let’s look back at your training and see. You started running in July, and since then you’ve run about 300 miles. Now, there are a lot of variables and differing opinions on the exact number, but a lot of people recommend changing your shoes every 300-400 miles. That means your shoes will probably be well past their mileage just in time for your first 26.2 mile run.”
“It’s OK! That’s why we’re talking about this now. We’re still about 6 weeks out, so you have plenty of time to buy a new pair, and start working them into your runs between now and race day. That’ll get them nice and broken in, but still keep them new enough for good support and protection on race day.”
So - looks like I’m in the market for a new pair of running kicks (easily one of the best parts of running). For those inquiring minds out there, I’m currently running in the Asics Kayanos - super cushiony.
“What about accessories?” was Tim’s next question (I secretly think he only runs so he can read about, talk about, and buy all the gear).
“Uh… like what?
I mean - shirt, shorts, shoes, AfterShokz Air, Garmin. What else do I need? "Ok - I know I was off on the shoes thing before, but I really think I’m good on gear.”
“Any sun protection? It’s gonna be hot - probably 80 degrees or more. If you don’t have something to keep the sun off your face and out of your eyes, it’s going to be a long, painful day.”
“😑Well aren’t you a DELIGHT.”
“I know,” he said. “I get that a lot.”
“Anyway - definitely get a visor or a lightweight, light-colored hat and train with it beforehand. A visor is good because it doesn’t trap additional heat around your head. But - a light-colored hat is nice because it will block the sun from hitting your head and hair (which will absorb and retain more heat). You can also take ice from aid stations and put it in your hat to keep ice on your head, which is a total pro move in the heat. Remember, if temps hit the 80s, you’re going to have to take active steps to keep your body temp down. And drinking water is NOT enough - you can be totally hydrated and still get heatstroke - so you need to keep your head and face out of the sun.”
“OMFG. Heatstroke!?! Seriously? Tim! You didn’t tell me this was going to be dangerous! I’ve been expecting to run through paradise and now you tell me this?”
“I know - isn’t running a marathon fun!”
“But seriously, if you take care of yourself, you’ll be fine. If you don’t take this seriously, then yeah, you can get into trouble. Get a hat or visor (I actually reco the hat so you can use the ice trick), get some broad-spectrum SPF sunblock, and practice using both on your runs BEFORE the race so you don’t end-up with sunscreen in your eyes.”
Looks like I have more shopping to do! I’ll be on the hunt for the perfect hat to wear on race day.
Fuel and Hydration
One area that I’ve had dialed-in for a long time is my hydration. I live in Texas, and you can’t mess around when it comes to hydration in this heat. I’ve been a huge fan of Nuun for a long time, and it’s been a godsend throughout my training. I drink some before and after each run - and I’m good to go. They have lots of flavors, some with caffeine (FTW) and my personal favs are cherry limeade, strawberry lemonade, and lemon+lime.
I also learned that marathon training requires more than JUST Nuun, which is great for hydration and electrolytes but doesn’t provide enough in the way of calories. (Though they do have their Nuun Performance which I still need to try).
After lots of conversations and experimenting, I’ve landed on Honey Stinger for my fueling source. Their organic waffles are soooo good! I take one of those before runs and fuel with their gummies while on the run (pink lemonade gummies FTW!).
I’ve learned so much throughout this process, and one fact that keeps coming up over and over is that everyone’s preferences vary wildly - shoes, accessories, all of it. What I use might not work for you, and vice versa, so it’s all about researching and experimenting to see what is best for you. I feel good about my training, I feel great about my fuel, and I’m ready to tackle this dang race already!