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Marathon Training/intense Hiking

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Hello all! I recently decided to start training for my first marathon/half marathon (we'll see how things go). I am doing research on the technicalities of running. But, I would like to know if you have any suggestions related and not related to gluten intolerance/Celiac and training (long distance running). Any training, running, nutrition, or other related tips would be GREATLY appreciated!

I should add that I used to play many sports, but I am now out of shape (I hope this doesn't make you see me as a lost cause, I'm not! ;) ). My goals are as follows: Climb/hike to the top of Volc

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Congrats on training for your first marathon! I ran my first marathon this past July, and it was AMAZING!!! I won't lie, training was absolute hell, but the race itself was one of the best experiences of my life.

Here are some things I learned that will probably help you:

**Fuel yourself for ENDURANCE and PERFORMANCE**

Make sure that you are consuming enough calories before, during, and after a training run. You do not want your body to go into starvation mode on those long runs. A general rule is to eat about every hour. I'm not sure what your allergies/sensitivities/diet preferences are, but I think it's a good idea to eat a mix of fat/protein/carbs before you run, and carbs during your runs. Carbs will be your "instant" energy. I relied on CLIF bars (this was before I knew I was gluten-intolerant), but a better choice might simply be packets of honey. It's natural, quick, and easy. Not a lot of people can stomach solid foods while they run. (I was one who could, except during the actual race, the thought of eating made me want to puke.

Also be sure to stay adequately hydrated! Drink water during your training runs. Drink before you get thirsty. Either plan a route that will let you stop home and refuel, or buy a fuel belt that can hold water and snacks.

**Don't OVERTRAIN!**

Find a do-able training schedule and stick with it. Even if you feel super and think, "Hey I could run 4 more miles today," DON'T. Stick with the plan, pace yourself. Slow and steady will prevent injuries. Don't try to run faster than you're able to.

If you're working just to complete the race, focus on adding distance. If you want to improve finish time, find a plan that incorporates hills, speedwork, and distance training.

I have problems with my IT band, so I chose to use the Jeff Galloway method of scheduled walk breaks. This helped my body to recuperate faster between runs, and after the marathon, I only needed 3 days off before I could run again.

Do it only if you are READY to commit!!

My fiance was really relieved when the marathon was over, because the training schedule became my LIFE. It seemed like my whole existence revolved around training. I couldn't go biking because I had a training run the next day. Or I was too dehydrated to go out with friends. Etc. And really, maybe it was because it was my first marathon, it was a tough learning experience. Maybe next time it won't be so stressful? It takes a lot out of you. Expect stress. Expect exhaustion. Expect to challenge yourself mentally and physically. Expect to work harder than you've ever worked in your life. But the result is totally worth it.

I would start training about 4 months ahead of time, so possibly in January or February? You'll want to have enough time to get up to your longest training run (20-26 miles, depending on if you're working toward a specific finish time) and then 3 weeks to taper. You will need to be running regularly before that, probably 3x/week, 10-15 miles per week most likely.

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don't think that training for a long hike and a marathon are the same - they're definitely not. I could hike 18 miles in a day with elevation gain and all, and go back the next day for another 10 last summer, but I couldn't have run a half-marathon to save my life. they training isn't mutually exclusive, but not identical.

to train for long hikes - hike. gradually increase the stats on what you do. if you've got lots of elevation gain in the hikes you want to do, train for it - it's harder on the body than distance. if you've got to carry a heavy pack, train for it - every additional pound has a larger effect than you'd expect and you need to know your limits.

based on what I found on summit post on the first goal you have ("It's level of difficulty, in terms of altitude, steepness, and duration, is similar to that of Mt. St. Helens in Washington State. Crevasse danger on the standard route is non existent. Still, climbers should carry an ice axe and bring crampons in case of icy conditions, as the hazard of uncontrolled slides onto rocks is a concern.") make sure you also do the appropriate training in use of crampons and ice ax if you're going at a time when those are necessary (call to find out about snow conditions, do not assume). Do not try to learn how to use crampons or an ice ax the day you try to summit - either piece of gear may be vital to your survival, but can also kill you. (I don't say this to scare you, I used them both earlier this year when I did Mt. St. Helens. They're not hard to learn. But you're carrying sturdy pieces of VERY sharp metal that can cut you, just as much as they can cut into ice.)

based on the hikes I've done to st. helens (every year now for three years), training by november could be challenging, depending on how in shape you are. it's certainly worth a try, just keep in mind that altitude negatively affects performance increasingly above 5-6000ft, unless you've stayed at that altitude a few days to acclimate.

if you don't regularly do long hikes, talk to folks who do about how to pack for the hike itself. in the meantime, learn how to best fuel your body - different people do well on different things. also learn your signs for the first hints of hunger, thirst, so that you can recognize them while you're on your treks.

good luck!

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I do not equate training for the two, I am training for the marathon, but I am using that to get in better physical shape for the hikes. I should note that I am currently at a high elevation and I actually have lived all of my life in Colorado, hiking when I have the chance. I don't think the elevation should be too much of a problem. I also live in a city in Chile right now that is all hills, I walk every day at least 40min/day (that's going to classes, but I also walk apart from that, I just don't keep track). When I say hills I mean HILLS, its nothing like walking around in the US, these are straight up and down and they're high. I'm not saying that this is exactly what it is like to hike the volcano AT ALL, I'm just saying my body/legs are more accustomed to this activity. I don't have the opportunity to practice with the ice picks or crampons. Currently, I am with a group here and we are all inexperienced and will be hiking the volcano with extremely experienced guides in small groups (all necessary equipment will be provided by the company).

The trip to Machu Picchu will also be with experienced guides, and with this I will have to carry more weight. I has been reported that the Inca Trail that I will be hiking over the course of 4 days is not incredibly difficult, they actually go at a steady pace because it is tourists of different skill levels doing the hike.

I know people talk about food choices, and I like yours Juli. Any others? Again any information is welcomed. :D Thank you.

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Larabars are great and I used them for training, too (though not as much, because they're not readily available in my area like CLIF bars were)--the fruit is "quick" energy and the nuts are "sustained" energy. Pranabars would be great, too. (I was forced to use PowerGels during the marathon and good god, I don't know if it was just the result of running 26 miles, but those things went through me like Grant went through Richmond and it was NOT pretty. I had such a great last mile simply because I was running for the bathroom...)

Honey packets are yummy. They do almost the same thing as a powergel (gives you quick energy) BUT it doesn't replace electrolytes; I know people who will eat those tiny paper packets of salt every hour to serve this purpose. I swore up and down I wouldn't use powergels (they're filled with crap and a lot have caffiene, I'm 100% caffiene-free for 2+ years) but I had no other choice during the race--a very risky move! Always train with exactly what you think you'll need in the race. Not EVERY single run, but on your last 5 or so distance runs, wear your fuel belt, use your training foods, etc. to see how your body will handle it. You might find out that you get blisters from wearing a pack, or that a food does not agree with you and gives you "runners runs", etc.

I'm very big on "natural" foods, and I don't eat much processed stuff at all. Post-workout meals would usually be an omelet with onion, garlic, bell peppers, some cheese cooked in EVOO. I also love avocados, and make my own salsa, so often I'd make fajitas (with corn tortillas) after a long run. Probably not a wise choice if your tummy is sensitive to spicy foods. (Mine isn't, I'm like Old Ironsides.) Grilled chicken with veggies is a favorite, but not a "diet" version of chicken/veggies. I'd eat my chicken with a little butter and hot sauce, cauliflower with mayo/cheese, butternut squash puree, string beans with cracked pepper, etc. Treat that body well--it's going to work hard for you!

Eat foods that you LIKE and that will HELP you with your goal. Don't fill your body up with preservatives and starches and junk. Pure fuel. Nuts, fruits, veggies, fats, eggs, meat. Protein is CRUCIAL! Make sure you're getting enough, otherwise your body will be forced to cannibalize its own tissue.

Another thing I want to warn you about is the possibility of gaining weight. You will gain muscle, but if you are a person who struggles with their weight, you have a good chance of gaining a few pounds around the middle. I am one of those struggling-with-weight folks, and I gained about 15 pounds, YIKES! (But in recent light, I'm thinking the stress of the training is what really triggered huge problems with gluten, and a lot of it was bloating that just didn't go away and seemed to turn to fat...) But another reason is that after a 20-mile training run, you're going to be freaking STARVING. For me, a 20-mile run burned about 2500 calories. That's a full day's worth of food! It's important to eat BEFORE and DURING, so you're not stuffing yourself afterward trying to fill that ravenous pit in your stomach.

Perhaps there are other more "seasoned" marathoners that can give you better advice! I've only done 1 marathon, but I'm just tellin' ya' what I know.

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I also have exercised induced asthma that has turned into acute asthma. The random symptoms don't occur as long as I take my allergy medication, but the exercise induced asthma easily flairs up when I run (even when I was a little soccer machine and in very good physical shape it did.)

Again, ANY suggestions that will help me attain my goals is EXTREMELY appreciated and very much welcomed.

Take a hit of albuterol 10 mins or so before you run. If you take singulair, take some an hour or so before you start.

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I do not equate training for the two, I am training for the marathon, but I am using that to get in better physical shape for the hikes. I should note that I am currently at a high elevation and I actually have lived all of my life in Colorado, hiking when I have the chance. I don't think the elevation should be too much of a problem. I also live in a city in Chile right now that is all hills, I walk every day at least 40min/day (that's going to classes, but I also walk apart from that, I just don't keep track). When I say hills I mean HILLS, its nothing like walking around in the US, these are straight up and down and they're high. I'm not saying that this is exactly what it is like to hike the volcano AT ALL, I'm just saying my body/legs are more accustomed to this activity. I don't have the opportunity to practice with the ice picks or crampons. Currently, I am with a group here and we are all inexperienced and will be hiking the volcano with extremely experienced guides in small groups (all necessary equipment will be provided by the company).

Cool. You didn't state any background, so I didn't know what to assume ;)

Thing is, hiking 2.0 miles at 500ft/mile gain is a lot different than hiking 5 miles at 1000ft/mile gain, and then turning around and decending. The elevation gain - for me - hits the asthma WAY harder and faster than speed or distance.

The lack of practice with equipment is a bit worrying to me, I have to say. At the least, if you'll be in those conditions, watch videos ahead of time. Be wary if they're also providing footwear - chances that you'll get footwear that fits *your* feet properly is low, and that can lead to blisters (which can get *bad* on a long hike), twisted ankles, and other injuries. But not having footwear that's compatible with crampons (if you need thing) would be a problem too. It's a tough rub, just do plenty of research on the guide group you're going with and how other people climb it. (For instance, RMI does led climbs up Mt. Rainier, and there are mixed reports of people going with them. Not saying they're not safe, just that some people have had a much better time going up with private groups, not them, due to their methodology.)

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I hope everything will be alright on the volcano climb, I'm still not totally decided on it (for money reasons) plus my hike to Machu Picchu is only 2 weeks later so I don't want to tire myself out for that. At the same time HOW MANY OPPORTUNITIES ARE THERE TO DO THIS?!? :D I know that the shoes could be a problem (they cover special shoes and pants, crampons, icepicks, and other equipment the lay person would not have). I have some deciding to do.

Does anyone have good suggestions on food I should eat (mostly snacks) that will give me more energy without gaining weight from fat (muscle weight is fine). I am in the beginning stages of pre-training, I'm mostly working on stamina right now (and doing excellent I think! :D ). Each day is a 30min run with an increasing distance each day (and I'm not killing my body.) I also walk at least 40 minutes a day at least, but I try not to make this too slow or too quickly (it really depends on how much time I have to get to class :P ) I need simple, natural food options because I don't have access to all of the pre-made foods and bars (However, I will when I return to the US and at this time I will begin real training, granted my pre-training goes well). Any suggestions about calorie intake?

Current Schedule

M, W, F, S: Morning 30 minute run (I think this is somewhere in between 2 and 3 miles right now, but I'm not incredibly sure, probably closer to the 2 mile mark). I am working on stamina, body and mind.

T, R, Sun: Rest days (I do, however, want to do some kind of work on muscle strength on these days. Any suggestions?)

MTWRF: I walk at least 40 minutes and 80 minutes if time permits.

This is where I am, food, exercise, and training suggestions are all welcome. I'm looking for suggestions, so that I can consider all and design something that works for me, that is successful for me.

THANKS!

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I would, myself, not try to eat anything special - just keep eating normally, but eat enough to compensate for the extra calories you're burning. Listen to what your body says it wants (within reason... half a pound of chocolate a day isn't really useful... ;) even if tasty :D ). I find when I'm hiking a lot (100+ miles/month), I crave a lot more fresh foods (so having things that don't need to be cooked - baby carrots, bananas, apples, cabbage as coleslaw - or very simple to cook foods - sweet potatoes or cauliflower that can just be popped in the oven or microwave) and more meat.

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I hiked the 6000 ft. La Campana yesterday! I was incredibly proud of myself!!!! :D I certainly wasn't the fastest in the group, but I did it, and I did it without any serious damage to my body. I slipped a couple of times and my legs and feet are a bit sore today, but I made it and I can still walk around fine!

Sorry, I had to share this little bit of self accomplishment. I need to decide today, but I am still debating Volcan Villarrica, it's a higher altitude, but a little bit of a shorter hike (about 2000 ft. shorter). My main concern is recovering enough in a two week period to do the (I'm sure much more mild) four day hike on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. What to do......

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Your current running schedule looks good to keep you maintaining fitness until you start training for the marathon. You might even want to do just 3x/week, as it's usually a really good idea to give yourself a break between runs.

Cross training is really important, and while you're training for a marathon, be sure it's an activity that doesn't stress the calf muscles. Biking, swimming, kickboxing, etc., anything that's using different muscles or using the muscles differently will be good.

Many marathoners also do a bit of upper body strength training. Instead of focusing on your chest, work your back muscles and core muscles. Keeping the trunk strong will make you a better runner. Don't go for # of reps, but for weight. Heavy weights, fewer reps. This will build muscle to protect your joints. Don't worry about getting huge, it takes lifting at least 3-4x/week to see huge gains in muscle mass.

Lower body strength training is much more difficult to fit in, and really, when you're running all those miles, it's not necessary to "lift". Instead, focus on resistance exercises that use your own body weight. Be sure to strengthen hamstrings. (Quads are usually well-developed from training runs.) One-legged squats, hamstring bridges, lunges are good. Also plyometrics, while generally used to increase speed, will still strengthen the muscles without overworking them.

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I hiked the 6000 ft. La Campana yesterday! I was incredibly proud of myself!!!! :D I certainly wasn't the fastest in the group, but I did it, and I did it without any serious damage to my body. I slipped a couple of times and my legs and feet are a bit sore today, but I made it and I can still walk around fine!

Sorry, I had to share this little bit of self accomplishment. I need to decide today, but I am still debating Volcan Villarrica, it's a higher altitude, but a little bit of a shorter hike (about 2000 ft. shorter). My main concern is recovering enough in a two week period to do the (I'm sure much more mild) four day hike on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. What to do......

What was the length of the La Campana hike? (6000ft being the altitude gain, I would expect, and that's a lot of altitude gain, going up more than a mile in a day.)

Altitude will affect things, but if you've been at high altitude for a while, you've got an advantage. ;) Barring injury (frowns at tenosynovitis and nerve inflammation in my feet from a backpacking trip), two weeks is likely to be enough time to recover just fine. Give yourself time off, of course, for a couple days, and don't cease training (I know you wouldn't ;) not with a marathon in the future), but if you did well on the first one, you'll probably be fine.

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