Marathon training is a bit like raising a child, pet or even plant. Every training decision–from nutrition and hydration* to specific running choices like long runs or speed-work, cross-training or rest–directs how I want my race to go.
The latest debate is if the long run, especially the infamous 20-miler, is necessary: Should I train hard every day instead of prepping my week around a big weekend long run? Should I race fast instead of training long and slow? Should I go for an easy run or hit the gym? For the record: I would rather run another marathon than run a 20-mile training run.
I’m constantly reading the research and have talked to coaches and other runners with various opinions. My conclusion is to train more and worry less. Sure, try it all and see what works best, adapting with each cycle. Making running fun is about remembering it’s worth enjoying along the way–and there’s always next season.
One rule I do live by is hydrating throughout the day, making deliberate choices about what and when I have certain beverages. Mostly I stick to water and try to avoid caffeine in the evenings. An exception is when I have an evening run like tonight. I add a nuun energy electrolyte tablet* to my water for a slight boost. The rest of the time, I stick to a pattern of adding a nuun vitamins tablet to every third or fourth bottle of water.
*Now through October 31, 2017, use discount code myfriendslovenuun to take 25% off Nuun. My favorite flavors are ginger lemonade (vitamins energy), blueberry pomegranate (vitamins) and fresh lime (electrolytes energy).