Friend Brandon Runs and Tris.

Happy Monday! 

Today’s guest poster is Real Life Friend Brandon.  Brandon actually grew up right across the street from me, so I’ve known him for a REALLY long time!  He is currently training for his second full marathon, and recently celebrated his birthday by running a Ragnar Relay.  

Hi, my name is Brandon. I’m writing a guest blog this week while Amy is busy with work (and training). Don’t worry I’m going to keep the same theme going and talk about some of my running experiences. This is my first blog of any kind so we’ll see how it goes.
I’m currently training for a Newport, Rhode Island marathon on October 14th. My goal is 4 hours. It will be my second full. Last year I ran Hartford in 4:03 so I’m pretty close. Training has been going pretty good so far. Although I feel like my entire summer has been nothing but working, eating, sleeping, and running. I haven’t missed any long runs yet and I’m staying strong with my plan. I even ran during vacation. Although I’m putting the miles in and doing speed work once a week, I feel like my maintenance miles should be faster. Last weekend I had a 20 mile run…well it was more like 18 and I ended up walking the last two. I felt strong the first 15 and then I stopped to have a drink and after that it was tough the rest of the way. I will have two more 20 mile runs before my race so hopefully those will go better. I’ve been thinking about trying a hydration belt. Do any of you guys wear one on your runs? Do you like them?
In the last few years I’ve been getting into triathlons. I just finished a 10 week sprint triathlon summer series. It was a lot of fun. The races were every Tuesday night so it was a nice event to look forward to during the weekdays. The races included a ¼ mile swim in a lake, a 8k mountain trail bike ride, and a 5k mountain trail run. With a race that short I quickly learned the bike is what separates most people, which was unfortunate since that is  my weakest event. And since the ride is on serious off road single track trails you really have to know how to shift. With that said, every week I got a little faster and I ended up finishing 4th in total points for my age group. Next year I want to expand to Olympic distance triathlons and maybe a half Ironman but I know that is going to be a big commitment. It’s also going to cost a couple thousand to buy a good road bike, a wetsuit and everything else I’ll need. The eventual goal is completing a full Ironman which is the main reason for these marathons and sprint tri’s….I’m trying to work my way up.
{AMY INSERT: Me too! But in like 10 years}
As far as running goes I’ve been pretty good so far at avoiding serious injuries. When I first started consistently running long distances a few years ago I had IT band problems. The tight tendon was causing a sharp pain on the outside of my left knee. I tried a lot of recovery techniques but the only one that worked was resting until the pain went away. As I continued to run I felt like my legs got ‘looser’ and since then I’ve been fine. I still make sure I spend time every week keeping my entire body as loose as possible. I get occasional massages. I foam roll whenever I can. I do yoga at least once a week and I go to the chiropractor once a month. I’m a big fan of chiropractors. Even when I don’t have any discomfort and everything feels good I still go for maintenance. When I’m running I like doing active stretching prior to starting and especially before races. Afterwards I do passive stretching.
In the last couple of months I’ve been experimenting with some new fuel choices. Last year when I was training for Hartford I used GU gel packets which worked great. I would always carry a couple with me on my long runs and during the marathon they passed them out at the water stations. This summer however, when I started using them again during training they were giving me minor stomach aches so I started looking for something a little more solid. Recently I’ve been trying Honey Stinger waffles and I like them. They have some good flavors too including vanilla, chocolate, lemon, and strawberry. My stomach has been doing better with these. The only downside is they are kind of crumbly and they are not as convenient to carry as gel packets. Another thing I started using is Nuun electrolyte tablets. I don’t know how much they actually help but after my runs I drop a tablet in a glass of water and I love it. They also have a ton of flavors to choose from and I haven’t found a bad one yet.
I’m sure many of you download a variety of running podcasts on iTunes. I’ve been listening to a couple for over a year now and I wanted to share my thoughts. The first one is The Marathon Training Academy.  This is a very motiving podcast that is hosted by a married couple. The wife runs multiple marathons a year and the husband recently ran his first. It’s geared toward beginning marathon runners but it’s entertaining enough for anyone. They are both very positive and encouraging people. In a typical podcast they will talk about their recent running experiences, have an interview, and offer a quick tip at the end. Each episode usually lasts around 30 minutes. One of the reasons I like this podcast is my training schedule last year matched up with one of hosts so in a way I felt like we were training together. The second podcast I enjoy is Ben Greenfield Fitness. Ben is a former college athlete who has been a bodybuilder, ironman finisher, public speaker, author, nutritionist, and trainer. His podcast is a series of Q&A’s that listeners send in. He focuses on a holistic approach to health and fitness, and stays up to date on current studies and articles. His answers are very detailed and long winded and because of that you learn a lot if you’re willing to listen to an entire episode which averages around 2 hours.
I hope you guys enjoyed my post. Happy running!

3 thoughts on “Friend Brandon Runs and Tris.

  1. A few quick things … drink water with Nuun from the start of your run and it will help prevent or delay electrolyte depletion. Don’t wait until afterwards! Also, don’t wait until you’re thirsty (or 15 miles, for that matter) to drink water during your long runs. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated and it’s too late. I always drink at least every two miles from the start on my runs to simulate the frequency on race day. Re the fuel belt, I’m not sure what you’re carrying, but you should at least be going out with fluid. I’ve used belts with the bottle in the back and I currently use a camelbak on my long runs, but even on shorter runs, I bring a handheld. Fluids are your driend and dehydration is your enemy!

    AMY: Whatever pictures are supposed to be loading aren’t loading.

  2. I use a handheld bottle – I think it’s a 12 oz Amphipod model. It fits in my hand really well, and the size is ideal (not too big or too small). Since there are water fountains along my long routes, I can just refill as necessary.

    Thanks for the podcast recommendations. I’ll have to check them out. Best of luck at your 2nd marathon!

  3. Pingback: The Caledonian Running Experience OR Running in Scotland | Lavender Parking

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