Top 10 Things to Help You Train for the Boston Marathon
From the desk of Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac.DNBAO…
We're less than a month away from the Boston Marathon so this week we're still talking about sports medicine and training for the big event. Last week we went through five tips to help you get the advantage in your training whether you are preparing for 26.2 miles this April in Boston or if you are endeavoring your first race ever. Here are five more tips to keep you healthy, on your feet, and ahead of the pack:
Bonking, otherwise known as “crashing” or “hitting the wall” is the dreaded, race-day phenomenon causing endurance athletes to suffer from exhaustion, extreme muscle fatigue, and symptoms of hypoglycemia. In addition to carbohydrate loading, watch for signs of overtraining as you prepare for your event. Symptoms include a higher resting heart rate, low appetite, high blood pressure, weight loss, difficulty sleeping, irritability, and generalized fatigue. If you notice any of these signs, reevaluate your training or see an expert before you get deeper into your workouts.
If you’ve never had a good excuse to treat yourself to a regular massage, here’s your chance. Regular massage reduces lactic acid build-up that can cause cramping and contribute to muscle fatigue. A great sports massage can improve your range of motion while managing aches and pains. If you can’t find the time to get regular massages during your training, schedule a session one to two weeks before your event, visit the massage tent after you cross the finish line, and have a massage within seven days after your big race.
Make Friends with Complex Carbs
It’s time to make friends with complex carbohydrates. Incorporating a nutrition program customized for your refueling needs can be more challenging than completing your first 10K. Some of you should belly up to the pasta bar (or quinoa bar if you're gluten free), while others will focus on electrolyte replacement, hydration, and increasing essential fatty acids. Sitting down with a nutritional counselor can take the guess work out of what to eat for those 1,000 meals each year. Don’t forget those post-run snacks to help refuel your glycogen stores. Start with a nut-butter and a banana for your muscles (and belly) will thank you.
Sign up for local events to help keep you on track. Choose races that correspond with the mileage you are working towards. The anticipated races will keep you motivated to work towards short-term goals and it's always good to get SWAG (Stuff We All Get). Hello, goody bags, t-shirts, energy bars, and coupons!
Try Sport Psychology
Endurance training is all about mental preparation. To prepare for your next event, experiment with different forms of relaxation such as meditation, visualization, and body awareness. If you don’t know where to begin, try yoga. Each yoga session, will help you clear your mind, develop powerful breathing techniques, and visualize your sweet race-day success. If you prefer to get your daily dose of mind-body medicine in private, try your hand at meditation. Start with a 15-minute session after each workout by sitting with your eyes closed. Try slow belly breathing (inhaling and exhaling for a count of four each) and see where your mind goes.
Want to try acupuncture to complement your training this year? Schedule a complimentary consult to learn more about how acupuncture can benefit musculoskeletal injuries and training regimen this year. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO
Jessica L. Molleur is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and massage therapist in Massachusetts and California. She first became interested in acupuncture as a soccer player searching for an alternative to knee surgery and discovered the many benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of California at Davis and a Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, CA. Jessica is a National Diplomate of Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine and Chinese Herbology through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). She is also a Diplomate of Acupuncture Orthopedics, a specialty certification held by fewer than 500 acupuncturists in the United States.
Jessica currently maintains a private acupuncture practice in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood, which was awarded Best Acupuncture Center by Boston Magazine. Areas of specialty include women's health, pregnancy, infertility, pediatrics, and sports medicine. If you are interested in learning about the benefits of acupuncture for fertility and IVF, please visit the acupuncture + fertility page. New patients can book online to schedule any acupuncture service including a complimentary consult. Jessica also serves as a health care consultant for a number of integrative medical institutes. Her clients include IVF and infertility centers, functional medicine offices, orthopedic facilities, concierge practices, and green spas. Please contact OMBE for more information about these services.
Prior to her consulting work, Jessica founded an integrative health center in Boston. The eco-friendly center was one of the first twenty-five companies certified as a Sustainable Business Leader in Boston. During its ten-year tenure, the center provided services including acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, naturopathy, nutritional counseling, personal training, Pilates, and yoga. Studio offerings included mom and baby programming, Mongan Method Hypnobirthing, natural childbirth education and the Holistic Moms Network. The center was the recipient of several awards, including Mayor Menino's Green Business Award, a multiple recipient of Boston Business Journal's Best Workplace, Boston Magazine's Best of Boston Award for Massage Therapy as well as Best Eco-Friendly Massage, Eco-Beauty Bar, Nutritionist, Personal Trainer, Pilates, and Workout.