Athletics Magazine

Stuff I Do When I Train for a Marathon

By Brisdon @shutuprun

I think my body is finally adjusting to marathon training. Even though I was in decent shape when I started “official” training three weeks ago, my body was still like “WTF? What’s with this structure, these puke inducing treadmill workouts, these 2 hour runs?”

Last week I told you I had been feeling kind of tired and I have to say this was messing with my confidence and motivation. I’m glad I stuck in there because I had a powerful speed workout on Tuesday that made me feel like a super star (and kind of made me want to throw up or crap my pants for a second, but that’s not lady-like to do at the gym unless you’re on the Biggest Loser).

On today’s long run (only 10 miles because it is a recovery week), I also felt like a million bucks (or at least a thousand bucks or a million pesos). And, it was not the easiest run:


The goal was a 9:30 pace, but it ended up being 9:14 by mistake. I am trying to keep my long runs at least 1 minute slower than marathon pace, but it doesn’t always happen.

I notice with training that I develop habits and routines. Here are some training, fueling and recovery strategies that I find helpful during training:

  • I go to bed early. Really early. I need to move to a nursing home.
  • For runs I do early in the morning (before 7am), I can’t eat much. My staple is a cup of coffee and a banana. Then I come home and pig out on Costco loaves. If you haven’t had these, I am sorry for you. They have become so popular in our house we just call them “loafs,” as in “Go get your mama another loaf. NOW. Or you’re grounded.”


  • For long runs (I usually do these on weekends when can start a bit later), my go-to pre-run fuel is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
  • I drink 2 or so ounces of water every mile while running. When my Garmin beeps, I drink. It is the boss of me.
  • During long runs, I do a gel every hour or so. My favorites are GU: vanilla bean, orange cream, or strawberry banana. They seem to sit best in my stomach. I love the chews and beans, but when it’s cold, these get too hard and then my jaw gets sore or I almost choke. Sounds pornographic.
  • Post run I am religious about foam rolling my ass, my IT bands (hurts like a mother f&cker), my calves and my hamstrings. I then do some light stretching.


Worst picture ever taken of me in my life. I love you enough to share it.

  • After workouts of an hour or more, I’ve started drinking EAS AdvantEDGE shakes. I like these because they are light, yet have 17 grams of protein, kind of light on the carbs, but I make up for that later (remember the loaves?). Chocolate milk works too.


  • Post long run I've been taking long, hot baths. I know many of you are fans of the ice bath for recovery, and yes –those are supposed to be much more beneficial than the hot bath. But, I don’t give a crap. When I have just been out running in 20 degree weather for 2 hours, I want warmth. And, I swear, my muscles love it. I soak in 2 cups Dr. Teal’s Epsom bath salts each time.
  • I’ve been supplementing my running with one session of hot yoga each week and one VERY tough spin class. The yoga gives my entire body an amazing workout and gives me more strength and stability. The spin class has lots of sprinting, climbing and intervals. I swear it has made my running stronger. Note: farting in hot yoga should be a crime. People need to stop it.
  • I go to acupuncture every second to third week and this has helped tremendously with my back and hamstring pain.


  • I noticed on long runs my feet were hurting so I started using Super Feet insoles (blue). So much better, so much more comfortable.
  • And, then of course I drink wine every night because that is what I do whether I am training or not.

What’s one must-have habit or routine you acquire while training?

Have a splendid weekend! We are getting tons of snow. I hate being cold, but I do love the snow. I never said I made sense. Anyone every try snow milk before? We used to put chocolate syrup on snow when I was little, but snow milk is like that on steroids.


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