I'm a little thicker, make me quicker
October 9, 2010 5:55 PM   Subscribe

Decided to run my second marathon--AZ Rock 'n Roll Marathon. Would appreciate some advice about my unique situation...

I ran this exact marathon when I was 18 in 4:05--I crashed and burned in the last five miles. Since then, I have remained very active but have significantly bulked up going from ~145 lbs to a lean ~190 over the past four years. Now when I run it feels like I'm wearing a backpack and am a little top heavy.

-What's the best way to lose some bulk in my upper body?
-Will this just happen naturally as I continue to train?
-Will I adapt to this top heavy feeling as I continue to train?

My thicker legs now rub like crazy! My shorts bunch up between my legs and it's really uncomfortable. I have been using loads of Astroglide (whatever that anti-chafing stuff is called)--it's not helping too much. Any recommendation on how to make this less painful? Remove some of the fabric from my shorts with scissors, perhaps?

I really haven't been running for the past year or two, but am in pretty good cardiovascular shape. I realize the longer runs are the most important part of the training. For the shorter runs, should I focus on recovery (just getting more miles in) or speed and push my cardiovascular system?

The most critical part of the whole training will be my ability to recovery quickly and remain injury free. Are there any tricks to help speed-up recovery? Eat while running? Hot tub soak?

Sorry, my questions are all the place. I really appreciate any feedback. I'm still working on my exact workouts and mileages, but would like any input.

*I realize this is the 1,000th Ask MeFi question about marathon training, but I think my situation is a little unique--thanks for humoring me!
posted by jdlugo to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
1. I wouldn't worry about the extra bulk. I've raced that distance at various weights between 150 and 180, you just get used to the extra pounds and a slightly higher center of gravity.

2. For the thigh rubbing thing, you might try wearing compression shorts (like UnderArmour) under shorts that don't have a mesh insert. I go back and forth between that setup and running shorts.

3. You've got about 12 weeks before your race. There are a bunch of 12 week marathon programs that lay out all of the mileages and long runs. They are all road tested at this point, I would just google one up and use that. I've had good luck with the Galloway program, but they all appear to be very similar (a progressively longer run each weekend, some intervals, etc.)

Good luck with the race!
posted by kovacs at 6:12 PM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

Re recovery, I like to use gels when I run, to stop the crash and burn in the last 6 miles. Make sure your eat within 30 mins of finishing your run - a mix of carbs and protein. This pays big dividends in your recovery. Nancy Clark has authored some very useful sports nutrition books. I have done an ice bath after the longer runs, but I really hate them. I'd rather roll on the foam roller for a while, and get a regular massage.

(Also, it's bodyglide... that astroglide quip made me laugh so hard. I hope to god I never confuse the two!)
posted by poissonrouge at 6:37 PM on October 9, 2010

Thunder-thighed runner here. kovacs is correct about the compression shorts; I swear by them.

I recover better, by virtue of having better sleep and remaining well-hydrated, when I abstain from alcohol while training. This can also help with weight maintenance/loss.

Good luck!
posted by cheapskatebay at 5:32 AM on October 10, 2010

Yes, compression shorts. I swear by them and never run without them (I'm tall and skinny, with peculiarly muscular thighs).

I'm assuming that you'll be expecting to finish in around 4 hours, just as you did last time. If you are like me then this isn't a speed problem; it's an endurance problem. Training up to 7 minute miles isn't going to do squat when you hit the 23 mile mark and your legs fall off. I'd skip the speed training on the grounds that (a) speed training is a great way to get injured (b) you can probably already run the required pace (c) you'll get generally faster as you get fitter, so why bother. I vote for long runs, the occasional MP run, and shorter recovery runs during the week.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 8:07 AM on October 10, 2010

« Older I want to know more about this man in the photo...   |   Between a rock and a hard place... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.