Lesson Thirteen: Why is it called a Marathon?
If you’d like to read the whole history – check out this article!
Here’s the short story – after a terrible battle in Marathon, a messenger was sent to Athens to announce that they had won the battle. This journey was solidified in the marathon race when Olympians were asked to traverse the distance between Marathon Bridge and the Olympic Stadium at in Athens.
Lesson Fourteen: What is Fuel?
Fuel is exactly what is sounds like. You put fuel in your car to drive it. We put fuel in our bodies to run long distances. We fuel the night before with carbs – also called “Carbing Up”. We fuel in the morning before a race and it typically a very ritualistic meal with specific foods at specific times before the race. We also fuel during the run with different items. One of the most popular is “GU”. It was described as a “frosting-like substance that runners take for long distance runs to replace carbohydrates, calories and electrolytes while running” (credit to the fabulous Mica Butterwood!) I do not care for the texture of GU, but I am learning that it is the best thing for me and is the only fuel option I found that did not mess up my stomach! Want more info on fuel options: check out this blog post!
Lesson Fifteen: What is a BQ, aren’t you missing another B?
No, a BQ is not short for BBQ. A BQ is a Boston Qualifer! There are some of us who will never qualify for Boston due to the time restrictions that are required. First, you can’t just register for Boston – you can either qualify or fundraise for a charity. First, quailying. This means that you have already run another marathon in a specific time. For example, someone in my age group would need to have run a previous marathon of 3 hours and 35 minutes! That is super speedy – roughly an 8 minute mile. I hover around the 11-12 minute mile pace on my long runs, so qualifying for Boston is not in my future (never say never though!). The second way to run Boston is to fundraise for a charity – they have minimum requirements of funds that need to be met before you can actually run the race. Either way, Boston (as well as several other races) isn’t a race that you can just choose to run without some prep work.
Lesson Sixteen: What is tapering?
Tapering is the rest and recovery period before a long race, such as a half marathon or full marathon. It is a forced time of lower mileage that can be difficult for many runners. For example: when training for a marathon, the Saturday “Long Run” gets up to 20 miles in distance before the taper period. The last long run before running the marathon is 8 miles… this type of restraint can be difficult for some runners and result in Taper Tantrums. This is a social media phenomenon – go search the hashtag #TaperTantrums!
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