I Totally Forgot to Tell You

race-day-survival-guideI was asked to offer some tips for first-time marathoners. Being that I’ve only run one, I still have that “new” marathoner mentality. The fear is still fresh. Ha!

Also, it was my pleasure to help a fellow writer out…since I have been on the “other” side of the story lots of times.

Survival Tips for Your First Marathon

You’ll recognize (or discover) some great blogging runners, too!

I Should’ve Been Doing This for Years in My Training

I know foam rolling (aka myofascial release) is good for me; I just can’t remember how to do it properly. So I decided to look up some “how to” videos on foam rolling.

If you don’t have a foam roller, get one. You can find them on Amazon.com or retail sports stores or places like Target. I have a travel-size one I can take with me that I got for $12 at REI, and I picked up a bigger one recently at TJ Maxx for $20.

What Made Me Look Up These Videos

My back has been extremely tight lately–probably from all the squats and lunges I’ve been doing in my cross training. I also ran 7 miles on Saturday after taking 30 days off of anything over 3 miles.

This morning, it was hard to sit up and get out of bed, so I started with the back stretches. It hurt, but I felt pretty bendy afterward. Then I did the other foam rolling stretches because I know I need to. Next time, I will go in this order:

  • IT Band
  • Piriformis
  • Calves/Achilles
  • Lower Back

Note: I warmed up a little bit by walking on my treadmill for 5 minutes.

Oscar Sanchez, C.S.C.S., demonstrating a piriformis stretch on the foam roller.

I really like the foam rolling┬ávideos by Oscar Sanchez, C.S.C.S. Not only does he have you roll up and down, he suggests moving your muscle from side to side. There’s a reason why he called the calf/achilles move the “porcupine stretch.” Feels like you are being stabbed. HOWEVER. I felt like a million bucks after these.

(Looks like he also has some training programs for half marathoners, too, when you view his channel.)

You’ll Probably Cry

Warning: If you have not been using a foam roller or any kind of massage lately, these are going to hurt. I almost cried doing my IT bands. It’s also a good idea to check with your doctor, chiropractor or physical therapist before starting any new exercise routine. I’ve done these before at the PT, but it’s been a looong time, so I needed a refresher and Oscar’s videos were just right.

IT Band



Lower Back