Monday, June 11, 2012

Marathon Tips Monday: Sheila Couch

Welcome back to Marathon Tips Monday!

Today's marathon tips come from Sheila Couch. Sheila has been kicking butt in races from 5K to half marathon lately so let's see what she has to share about the marathon.

Sheila sporting her well-deserved medal from Boston's Run to Remember in May.

Tell us a little about yourself:
I am 41 years young. I am married to Matthew Couch and I have two daughters, Gabriella, 5, and Brooke, 3.

How many marathons have you run?
I only have one marathon under my belt. So, I still consider myself a marathon rookie.

What is your marathon PR?
Well since I have only one marathon under my belt, does 4:46:13 count as a PR? Definitely room for improvement!

Do you have a "dream marathon" on your list that you'd love to run some day?
My dream marathon was my first marathon, ING NYC Marathon 2011. But, I would like to also run the Disney Marathon.

What is your favorite part of marathon training?
When I trained for the marathon last summer, my favorite part of training was going out for the first time to run 15 miles. I can remember thinking, wow I just ran 15 miles for the first time ever! What an accomplishment! And, so, every weekend, I would be amazed at how I could push my body to run for all those miles.

What is your least favorite part of training?
My least favorite part of training has to be when my stomach doesn't want to cooperate with the training. But, that didn't happen often, thankfully.

How long do you typically train for a marathon?
I typically trained 4-5 days a week for 16 weeks for my first marathon but this year as I get ready for the Hudson Mohawk Marathon, I will only be training 3 days a week for 16 weeks. That is 3 days of running, 3 days of cross training with 1 day rest. I believe, at least for me, that my body response better to less running days. Well, at least this type of training worked for the half marathon I just ran on Memorial Day weekend.

What advice would you give to runners setting out to train for their first marathon?
I would tell someone who is training for their first marathon to eat properly and get enough rest. Don't get into the mind set that just because you burned 1500 calories, you can eat whatever (JUNK). You will gain weight from having that mentality. Rest is so important. Do not go out for a run tired. You are setting yourself up for an injury. Do not try anything new on race day. Speaking from experience during a half marathon race. 

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Thanks, Sheila!

Now, friends. Sheila is so right-on with her advice about not eating tons of junk just because you went for a long, calorie-burning run. I think a lot of runners, especially those new to long runs and marathon training, fall into that trap. I hear people blame running because they are gaining weight, when the reality is that they are taking in too many calories and that is why they are gaining weight! So, listen to Sheila!

And let me add: I know Sheila in real life so I can vouch for how fit she is. She clearly listens to her own advice! 

Do you have any questions for Sheila? 
Wishes for a good marathon training cycle for her marathon in October? 
Feel free to leave a comment!

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Felice


Lonegazelle said...

Good luck! Nice post... Enjoyed it.

lily_gville said...

Hi! Wonderful blog, I'm enjoying all of the tips! One question for Sheila's post - how did the 3 day running, 3 day cross training work out for her marathon? I think that would work best for me so I'm curious how it went and what types of cross training Sheila did?

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