By: Julieta Hernandez Photo by: Brynn Osborn
Marathons and half marathons are true feats of athleticism, but finish lines aren’t that far away if you prepare properly for the race.
Doug McBee, President of the Corpus Christi Road Runners club, and Adrian Marquez, a private running coach and manager of Fleet Feet Corpus Christi, know how first-time runners should warm up before the big day.
And actually, marathon training is mostly pacing and patience.
“When you train, you have to train. There’s no way to get around it, you’re going to have to put in the miles,” says Doug McBee, whose familiarity to marathon training is exemplified by a “track record” of over 100 races.
It’s important to start slowly. Getting your body used to running one mile, then five miles, then ten miles comfortably doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t depend on pushing yourself. Rather, it depends on getting to know your body and the lengths and speeds it can endure. McBee recommends just getting out there, getting the gear on, and hitting the streets.
As a non-regular runner, switching between intervals of walking and running will help build your endurance. If running is not part of your regular lifestyle, it’s ideal to check in with your doctor to make sure your body is adapting to training correctly.
This also includes measuring your hydration. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Coastal areas provide a cool breeze, but the sun shows no mercy during a long run. Water should always be the first drink you reach for — but beverages that are infused with electrolytes and minerals help a great deal with recovery. As for nutrition, both McBee and Marquez say it depends on your knowledge of your own body’s likes and dislikes. Your stomach will likely determine your diet. Marquez prefers to fill his personal training seasons with nutrient-dense foods, and includes amino acids when he can.
As a runner, novice or not, shoes are exceptionally critical. Runners should be wearing running shoes that fit properly — or else running will be even less fun than it already is.
“You’ll be surprised. From working at Fleet Feet, I’ve learned that shoes make a big difference, and your feet can pay for it in the long run,” said Marquez, who’s been running for 18 years.
It’s recommended to shop with running styles in mind — jogging, marathoning, cross-country, etc. — and to speak to a shopping assistant who might be able to direct you to appropriate shoewear. The same applies to running apparel. Comfortable, cooling clothes are more appropriate for running. Whatever makes you comfortable running is what you should run in — you already know you’re going to sweat in it!
Even if you have all the knowledge required, the most important tip is to maintain your motivation. Find someone to run with, or run for. Running groups like the Corpus Christi Road Runners take group runs every morning and are for runners of any pace level. Fun Runs, which are three-to-four mile neighborhood runs, are organized by the CC Road Runners and the general running community (yes, we have one!) in the area.