Christmas comes once a year and so does the Reggae Marathon. Getting ready for both is a huge part of our household but I must confess that Reggae Marathon dominates the months of October through December.
I’ve been training like crazy. The biggest improvement came when I embraced natural-style running earlier this year. After 25 years of old-school running, learning how to run more naturally has re-energized my love of running. I run much more comfortably with the light forefoot strike, shorter stride and increased pace. And I think I look better too but that could have something to do with the bright red and white Puma Faas 500’s that I have come to love.
And I’m looking forward to the new full marathon course at Reggae Marathon this year. It’s basically 2 loops of the ½ marathon course and details will be revealed before the race. I’ve run the full ‘old’ marathon course and I can attest to the ‘loneliness of the long distance runner’ feeling. The new course promises more reggae per mile and I’m looking forward to it.
Hyper-hydration or water intoxication…drinking too much water while running…has become a hot topic (pardon the pun). The theory goes that drinking too much water combined with sweating reduces the concentration of electrolytes in your system and leads to very bad things. Reggae Marathon has a neat solution to help manage that challenge: both water and Gatorade in plastic pouches are available from the fantastic volunteers at every mile aid station. While I’m not a medical person, my advice is to drink when thirsty, keep your head and neck covered and wet and most importantly, listen to your body.
What’s the best way to recover after the Reggae Marathon? I run a lot, I’m not an elite runner. My post race recovery includes taking full advantage of the cooling tent, fresh coconut water and banana and of course the cold Red Stripe. I also make it a ritual to dash into the warm Caribbean in my running gear right after I leave the race area. Yes, I take off the Pumas first! Additionally, because I spend a few days in Negril after Reggae Marathon, I take a few days off from running replacing running with long early morning walks along the Negril beach.
And speaking of vacation, what’s the best strategy: before or after Reggae Marathon? I choose to vacation after for one simple reason: Red Stripe! Before any race I abstain from alcohol. I arrive in Negril a couple of days early, run with Bob Moore from Washington to show him how distance running is done in Jamaica, run the race on Saturday, then spend a relaxing week vacation on the beach.
I’m ready now! All that’s left is some more pre-race training and the packing. See you in Negril in December.
Until next time…