Wednesday Wisdom...

Loving this Wednesday Wisdom from LoveVermont's newest guest blogger - Captain Ben Smith. Long time Mainer whose love affair with Vermont began at the Low Post at St. Mikes but grew stronger upon meeting the lovely Taradise...we are thrilled to have him and hope his love for Vermont continues to grow. Thanks to Ben, former Clydesdale turned Greyhound for inspiring us all with his "Things I have learned while training for my first marathon."

1. Lube: “Bodyglide” is really important and should be taken very seriously… apply where needed and no need to tell everyone you see where you put it and why…. You might be surprised but no one cares.

2. Shoes: When researching the perfect a pair of running shoes DO NOT buy them just because….

  • they have Velcro and will be easy to take off once you can’t bend over to reach the laces.
  • they have a pouch for lunch money that can be used if you want to bag a run halfway through and buy yourself a beer instead.
  • you think that by being .75 ounces lighter than the others they will get you up a hill quicker and be worth it.
  • they have lights that blink on the back of them and you think it might be safer when training at night.
  • you think they make you look like Usain Bolt from the ankle down…

Buy them because they are comfortable, stable, and you can see yourself in them for multiple hours at a time pounding on the pavement.

3. Socks:
This form of hosiery can come in all different ways: thick, thin, ¼, ¾, no show, tube, five finger, black, white, tie-dyed, merino wool, wicking fabric, or just your plain Hanes blue collar classic. The one thing I have learned is that it is really just a personal preference of what you like under your feet. The real question is: What do you want to have on your feet to protect yourself from the running shoes?

Think about it… so many people put a lot of time, attention and research into what shoe they are going to be “most comfortable” in and then go off and wear some ridiculous sock that scrunches up like a covered slinky running down Church Street! Bad socks will diminish any comfortable feature that the shoe has to offer when you are out on your run….. the only thing you think about is why one sock is down around the ball of your foot and the other is giving your big toe a wedgie like the big kid O’Doyle on Billy Madison!

Bottom line: Consider the undergarments for those flippers before you take them on a 2.5 hour tour around the hills of VT.

4. Apparel: Now when I first started running for this event I thought I was fine with just a regular old pair of hoop shorts and some comfortable spandex to carry me through town. This is still true for the casual 3-4 mile jaunt around campus (and if I don’t need to be comfortable for an extended period of time). I am NOT saying go out and buy the 5 inch inseam speed shorts at your local sporting goods shop just because you saw someone’s uncle training in them at the gym. Buy a pair of shorts that are light and comfortable and of course have some sort of wicking fabric built in so you aren’t running with a rooster tail of water behind you on mile 15.
As for a shirt the same principles apply… Don’t run in your favorite Hanes Beefy-T if you are going to string out a handful of miles. Go with something that’s light enough to keep you moving and doesn’t weigh you down as you start to sweat.

I am NOT telling you to go out and purchase a full lycra suit and shave your legs… the last thing you want to see is a copy of the Burlington Free Press with a headline reading: Spandex Ninja streaks Church Street – Local Restaurants close outside dining.

5. Energy / Water: This can be a VERY delicate subject for many runners (or so it seems since I have never been one) as to how much and when. You can read the packages of many energy products and they all say something different:

  • “Eat entire bar in one sitting and follow with water.” - What if I am running while I am eating this? Do I need to stop and sit? What if I am not near a water cooler or fountain that’s placed randomly along my route in the middle of Addison County? Do I wait to take it or will I run out of fuel?
  • “Take 1-6 shot blocks (every hour) OR as you see fit.” – What’s the point in telling us how MANY to have (one is very different than 6, by the way) and WHEN to have them if in the end you leave it all up to us to make the decision? You guys are the ones that made the goo, block, or bean--- now tell me when, where, and how!
  • “Always drink water before, during, and after your runs however, be sure not to drink too much during a workout or you will cramp up.” – Ok, so you mean don’t drink as much as I do before and after my run but make sure I am drinking slightly less than that? Thanks for the tip!

The one thing that I have learned about these energy blocks, bits, gummies, and chews is that NONE of them really taste that great. Not to mention that for the most part they just seem to linger in your mouth for a good 20 minutes and do nothing but give you something else to think about other than your knees, back, and feet hurting… I think.

Well put, Ben, well put.

{image via }

saraestey  – (August 19, 2010 at 11:23 AM)  

love this! reminds me why it won't run another marathon....

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