This year more than 30,000 people will line up the weekend of May 2nd, for the Annual Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon. The walkways of our city will be lined with a gallery over 26 miles long, only cups and bottles left strewn about to mark the trail of the herd. This event, which is a very impressive feat of both commitment and community, stems from an individual’s desire to perform. Each participant that lines up for the race has their own goals and strategy for what lies ahead. After weeks of preparation and planning, this one event remains as the single most important leg of the journey. To ensure that you are ready for this journey, we are providing information and education. Over the next 12 weeks, an article will be featured weekly, with the intention of improving fitness, health and performance before, during and after the marathon weekend. You will hear from a variety of experts and fitness enthusiasts about training, race preparation, fueling for your exercise and performance, and even what happens after you cross the finish line.
With the marathon 12 weeks away, most runners, marathoners and half-marathoners alike, are getting started with their training programs. Many don’t realize that base training is by far the most important part of your training. The ground work you lay down now, is what will drive success on race day. This declaration applies to your body’s acclimation to the impact of running for extended periods, as well as your heart rate, breathing, energy use, and mental endurance.
In this column, we will dig deep into the reasoning and protocols best suited for those running, with the goal of preventing injury and promoting optimum performance. As the Registered Dietitian in the group, my focus will be on feeding during training, looking at some of the diets commonly used by endurance athletes, hydration protocol, and even during-exercise feeding strategies. The goal of my writing is to keep you fueled properly over the next 12 weeks and through your event. To accomplish this, we will investigate some of the common pitfalls that first time runners and even seasoned runners fall into during training, as well as provide information on energy sources, foods, and how to properly fuel for sport. Welcome to the official training guide for the Pittsburgh Marathon, brought to you by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette!