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Updates from the Road

The Best and Worst Thanksgiving Foods to Eat When Training for a Race

The Best and Worst Thanksgiving Foods to Eat When Training for a Race

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and of course, food. But if you’re training for a marathon, you might be wondering what Thanksgiving foods will help or hinder your performance. Never fear, we’re here to help! Read on for the best and worst Thanksgiving foods to eat when training for a half or full marathon.

The Best:

  1. Roasted turkey – Lean protein is essential when training for a race, and roasted turkey is a great source of lean protein. It’s also low in calories and fat. Just be sure to avoid the skin, which is high in saturated fat.
  2. Green beans – Green beans are low in calories and a good source of fiber, both of which are important when training for a marathon. They’re also a great source of vitamins A and C.
  3. Sweet potatoes – Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, which are important for energy during long runs or races. They’re also rich in vitamins A and C, potassium, and beta-carotene. Just be sure to go easy on the toppings like marshmallows, brown sugar, and butter—all of which add extra calories and fat that you don’t need.
  4. Pumpkin pie – pumpkin pie is loaded with Vitamin A and fiber, both of which are important for runners. Just make sure to go easy on the whipped cream (or better yet, ditch it altogether).
  5. Water – Staying hydrated is key when training for any race—and that means drinking plenty of water throughout the day leading up to Thanksgiving dinner as well as during the meal itself. Add some lemon or lime slices to your water for an extra boost of flavor (and Vitamin C!).

The Worst:

  1. Fried foods – fried foods like turkey legs and fried chicken skin are loaded with unhealthy fat that will weigh you down during your runs. And let’s face it—they’re not exactly good for your heart health either.
  2. Gravy – Too much sodium can lead to bloating and dehydration, neither of which are ideal when training for a marathon.
  3. Mashed Potatoes – Just like gravy, mashed potatoes can also be very high in sodium. In addition, they’re typically made with whole milk and butter, which can add unwanted calories and fat to your diet.
  4. Pecan Pie – Pecan pie is loaded with sugar and fat, two things you should limit when training for a marathon. A single slice of pecan pie can have over 400 calories and 20 grams of fat!
  5. Alcohol – We know it’s tempting to indulge in a glass (or two) of wine at Thanksgiving dinner, but alcohol can cause dehydration and hinder your performance on race day.

With all the tempting food options available on Thanksgiving, it can be hard to stray from the marathon training diet.  And everyone should enjoy the holiday season.  So if you stray from the diet, don’t worry – just keep everything in moderation.  This is more of a friendly reminder that leaner cuts of meat, like turkey breast, complex carbs like sweet potatoes, and veggies are the healthiest options.  Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking water (not alcohol! Or maybe a little…) and you’ll be well on your way to crossing the finish line come race day. Bon appétit!

Register for Your Race Today!

The Road to 26.2: How Long Should You Train for a Marathon?

The Road to 26.2: How Long Should You Train for a Marathon?

We’re exactly 6 months away from race day, and training for a marathon is no joke. It takes serious dedication and commitment to even think about running 26.2 miles. But if you’re up for the challenge, the rewards can be great. Not only will you get bragging rights for completing one of the most difficult endurance tests out there, but you’ll also reap the benefits of improved cardiovascular health, increased muscle strength, and boosted mental resilience.

So, how long should you train for a marathon? While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, most experts recommend that beginner runners give themselves at least 16 weeks to prepare for the big race. This allows ample time to gradually build up mileage, prevent injuries, and get your body used to running long distances.

If you’re short on time or just want to see what you’re capable of, there are shorter training plans available (some as short as eight weeks). However, it’s important to keep in mind that these programs are designed for experienced runners who have already built up a good base of aerobic fitness. If you’re new to running or have been sidelined by injury, it’s best to err on the side of caution and give yourself more time to train.

In this blog post, we’ll explore these factors in more detail and give you some guidelines to help you figure out your ideal training plan.

Factor #1: Current Fitness Level

If you’re already an experienced runner who regularly runs long distances, you’ll likely need less training time before the marathon than someone who is starting from scratch. A good rule of thumb is to start with a base mileage of 20 miles per week; from there, you can increase your mileage by 10% each week until you reach your peak mileage 4-6 weeks before the race. 

If you’re new to running or not used to running long distances, however, it’s important to take things slow at first. Starting with too much mileage too soon can lead to injuries or burnout—neither of which are fun (trust us!). In this case, we recommend starting with a base mileage of 10 miles per week and increasing gradually from there. 

Factor #2: Goals for the Race

Are you running the marathon for fun? Or are you gunning for a personal best? Your answer to this question can affect how long you need to train. 

If your goal is simply to finish the marathon (which is an amazing accomplishment!), then 4-6 months of training should be sufficient. Remember to focus on building up your mileage slowly so that your body has time to adjust; otherwise, you might get injured or burned out. 

On the other hand, if your goal is to run the marathon as fast as possible, then you’ll need to put in some extra time on the pavement. Elite runners typically train for 6-8 months before a big race, with their peak mileage occurring 4-6 weeks before race day. They also focus on speed work and tempo runs in addition to their regular long runs; if this sounds like something you’re interested in doing, talk to a coach or experienced runner about how to incorporate these types of workouts into your training plan. 

Factor #3: Amount of Free Time You Have 

The last factor that can affect how long you should train for a marathon is the amount of free time that you have available. If you’re able to dedicate several hours each week to training (we’re talking 10+ hours), then 4-6 months should be sufficient time to prepare for the big day. But if life gets in the way and you can only squeeze in 5-6 hours per week, then it’s probably best to give yourself closer to 6-8 months so that you don’t get overwhelmed or burned out. 

No matter how much free time you have available—or what your fitness level or goals are—the most important thing is that you enjoy your training process! Running should be fun, so make sure not to allow it to turn into a chore by putting too much pressure on yourself or trying to do too much too soon. 

The Benefits of Training for a Marathon

Whether you’re a seasoned runner or someone who’s just starting out, training for a marathon can provide some serious health benefits. Here are a few reasons why you should consider lacing up your sneakers and hitting the pavement:

Improved Cardiovascular Health: One of the most obvious benefits of running is improved heart health. By increasing your heart rate on a regular basis, you’ll strengthen your heart muscle and reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Increased Muscle Strength: In addition to strengthening your heart, running also helps tone your muscles—especially in your legs and glutes. As your mileage increases, you’ll notice that it becomes easier to run faster and longer distances without getting fatigued as quickly.

Mental Resilience: Last but not least, training for a marathon can do wonders for your mental health. The act of pushing yourself physically on a regular basis can help increase your mental toughness and resilience in the face of challenges. What’s more, studies have shown that running can improve symptoms of anxiety and depression.

In conclusion, there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to deciding how long to train for a marathon. It depends on several factors, including your current fitness level, your goals for the race, and how much free time you have available. Use these guidelines as a general framework but ultimately let YOUR body be the judge of when you’re race-day ready! And remember: always have fun!

Get registered today!

 

The Colorado Marathon: A Downhill Delight

The Colorado Marathon: A Downhill Delight

Tired of the same old running routes? If you’re looking for a change of scenery, the Colorado Marathon might be just what you need. This 26.2-mile course takes runners all the way down through the Poudre Canyon to the finish line in Old Town, Fort Collins. And the best part? The entire route is downhill! Here’s everything you need to know about this one-of-a-kind race.

 

The Course

The Colorado Marathon takes place in May, which means that runners can enjoy beautiful spring weather while they tackle the downhill course. The race starts at Stevens Gulch where runners will make their way through valleys, past lakes and streams, and into Old Town Fort Collins. Along the way, they’ll be treated to stunning views of Cache la Poudre River Canyon. 

Of course, the scenery isn’t the only reason to run the Colorado Marathon. The downhill nature of the course also makes it much easier on runners than a traditional marathon route. In fact, many runners have reported PRs after completing the Colorado Marathon. So if you’re looking for a fast race time, this may be the marathon for you! 

Starting at an elevation of 6,113 feet, descending a total of 1,366 feet by the end, and with a net downhill grade of just 2%, it’s a great race for runners of all abilities.

 

Know Your Limits 

Running downhill may seem like a breeze, but one important thing to keep in mind when running the Colorado Marathon is that its decreasing grade can be tough on your joints. The impact of running downhill can put a lot of stress on your knees, hips, and ankles, so it’s important not to go too hard, too fast. Pay attention to your body and how you’re feeling as you run. If you start to feel any pain or discomfort, slow down and give yourself a break. 

It’s also important not to get caught up in the excitement of race day and push yourself beyond your limits. Remember that this is just one race—there will be plenty more chances to PR in the future! So focus on enjoying yourself and savoring the experience of running such a beautiful course. 

 

Packet Pickup and Expo

Packet pickup and race expo take place on Friday and Saturday before the race at the Lincoln Center. The expo is free and open to the public, so even if you’re not running in the marathon, it’s worth stopping by to check out all of the vendor booths and pick up some free swag. Trust us—you won’t want to miss it!

Conclusion

Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or a first-timer, the Colorado Marathon is a great choice for your next race. With its unique downhill course and stunning views of the Poudre Canyon, this 26.2-mile race is sure to give you an experience you’ll never forget! Register today!

 

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