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Preparing for a Spring Marathon

Ready for a spring marathon in 2018?

Preparing for a Spring Marathon

The July 4th AJC Peachtree Road Race. Check. The PNC Atlanta 10 Miler. Check. The Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon. Check. What’s next, you ask? How about a spring marathon in 2018, 26.2 miles of I can do this!

In the words of Noel Carroll, an accomplished Irish runner who ran track at Villanova University and competed in the 1964 and 1968 Olympics, “If people were possessed by reason, running marathons would not work. But we are not creatures of reason. We are creatures of passion.”

Passion, coupled with consistent training, will lead to finish a successful 26.2-mile footrace. If you completed the Triple Peach Race Series in 2017 and fancy the Atlanta skyline (and the many hills), the Publix Georgia Marathon next March is a natural choice.

But should you prefer to explore a new city on foot, there are numerous possibilities next spring. For instance, visit Virginia for three popular, historic marathons (the Yuengling Shamrock, Miller Lite Charlottesville, and Foot Levelers Blue Ridge).

Unlike the Chicago, New York, and Marine Corps marathons, the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon (March 18th, 2018) stays open until capacity is reached. Conversely, if you prefer to travel by automobile instead of by airplane to a locale like LA, simply head north for the Country Music Marathon in Nashville, Tennessee, or proceed south for the Walt Disney World Marathon in Orlando, Florida.

Needless to say, this isn’t an exhaustive list, so take some time to consult a race calendar for more spring marathons across the United States – and the world. In short, find your marathon, and then drop by your local Big Peach.

Spring Marathon: Communication and Nutrition

Big Peach Running Co. doesn’t provide marathon training plans, but we will help you see that the plan you select is followed and completed in numerous ways. First – in running! If you like to run alone, ask a Guest Advocate at your store for some popular routes in the community. If you prefer a group, every store has a weekly group run of various distances, and all pace levels are welcome. Some stores offer long runs on the weekend and the occasional trail run at a local park.

Consistent running is the first step (pun intended!) to successfully completing a spring marathon plan, but long runs also require a nutrition and hydration strategy. Carbohydrates keep your energy level high while water lowers the risk of cramping and dehydration. Big Peach has numerous nutritional products in our “Long Run Ready” section, including gels, chews, beans, and bars. Runners who desire a touch of flavor in their water, along with some additional electrolytes (sodium and potassium), might consider NUUN tablets.

Spring Marathon: Hydration and Amplification

For those longer runs, Big Peach has hydration bottles, belts, and vests to stow your stuff. Is one option superior to another? No, but drop by a local store and interact with the products. Put your hand through a bottle; secure a belt to your waist; drop a vest over your shoulders. Own your training by selecting appropriate, comfortable gear.

Spring marathons also mean training in the winter months. Therefore, amplification (e.g. visibility) becomes another element of consideration, especially if runs occur at dawn or dusk when light is minimal. Like nutrition and hydration products, Big Peach has a bevy of visibility gear, including headlamps, flashlights, and strobe lights. Technical apparel pieces also include reflective strips in strategic locations to enhance visibility on the roads. There are plenty of product combinations for sure, but the mantra “See and Be Seen!” is the guiding principle when it comes to running safety.

Spring Marathon: Injury Prevention

Many popular marathon plans are 16-20 weeks in duration – which means that you’ll likely need 1-2 additional pairs of shoes before the race. If you recall, most running shoes have a lifespan of roughly 300-500 miles. In short, change your shoes on a regular basis to the lower the risk of injury.

Speaking of which, have you wondered if your running form has contributed to current or past injuries?  It’s certainly possible, which is why Big Peach Running Co. developed the TransFORMed Running (TFR) program. The program is underscored by three principles: posture, lean, and landing, the goal being to eliminate overstriding and reduce injury. Furthermore, intro classes, roughly 75minutes in length, are free, while the 3-hour workshop is $50, a small investment if it translates into less doctor visits and a greater thrill for running!

Transformed Running is supplemented by self-massage. Every runner, especially those training for a marathon, would love a weekly massage, but Trigger Point products, including the GRID foam roller, MB5 ball, and NANO foot roller, also do the trick. Furthermore, Trigger Point houses a collection of short videos on their website that demonstrate how to release tight muscle groups effectively. Why? Form matters – in running and in stretching.

Spring Marathon: Celebration!

Between footwear, apparel, group runs, injury prevention tools, gels, vests, form classes, and socks (vitally important for solid runs), what else can Big Peach provide for your marathon training? Fun. That’s, it? Indeed.

At Big Peach, we take fun seriously! Because running is fun. Remember the thrill of lining up in the starting corral at your last 10K or half marathon, waiting with bated breath for the horn to blare in the wee small hours of the morning? You inch forward, a few steps at a time. Others do the same. Spectators are screaming while “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor or “Dreams” by Van Halen creates a sonic storm across the sky. And you’re off towards the finish!

Completing a marathon during any season is a difficult endeavor. Think about that last half marathon and the prospect of doing it a second time. Wow. That’s an undertaking for sure, but it’s doable. You can do it, and the team at Big Peach Running Co. wants to help you do it. As legendary runner Emil Zatopek puts it, “If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon.” After you finish that first spring marathon, drop by a store for a free 26.2 Peachy magnet. This is our gift to you as we celebrate together what just happened.

Welcome to a different life.

Austin Bonds is a Guest Advocate at the Big Peach Suwanee location.