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Running Tips

Tips for marathon runners

Tips for marathon runners
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Three dedicated runners who are prepping for the Chevron Houston Marathon share some tips and wisdom that could help you get through your next 26.2.

Words with runners

We reached out to Run Happy Team members Nadia Contreras, Isabella Jonovick, and Correy Plunket  to chat about their running goals, marathon training tips, best post-run meals, and more.

Nadia Contreras, Isabella Jonovick, and Correy Plunket

Left to right: Nadia Contreras, Isabella Jonovick, and Correy Plunket 

In three words or less, describe your running goals.

Nadia: Start, enjoy, finish.

Isabella: Enjoy the experience.

Correy: Prepared for life.

What’s your personal number-one rule for training?

Nadia: Trust yourself and the process.

Isabella: When training, do the hard workouts hard and the easy workouts EASY! Easy workouts are built into a running program on purpose and are just as important as the hard workouts.

Correy: Embrace the journey.

What’s your best tip for someone who is running their first marathon?

Nadia: Follow a training plan and / or hire a coach. No matter how many other races you’ve conquered, this distance really tests your body and mind. You don’t want to end up under-trained or injured. Trust me — it’s best to follow a plan.

Isabella: Don’t go out too hard too fast and don’t try anything new on race day.

Correy: Pay just as much attention to hydration and nutrition as you do to the running.

Adjust your training

How do you adjust your training plan for a fast, flat race like Houston compared to other races?

Nadia: Being a Florida runner, all I know is fast and flat. Houston will be like running at home, but I can’t wait to see the change in scenery. I’m certain I won’t have to play “is it a snake or a stick” when racing in Houston.

Isabella: My last race was the Moab 240 [Ed. note: Yes, she means 240 miles] in October, which was a completely different type of training compared to a flat-road marathon. My training has changed where I now do runs on flat road, and for a lot less time, versus hiking and running for hours in the mountains. I also don’t have to worry about nighttime running, overnight running, or sleep deprivation. Now I’m concentrating more on strength work, mobility, and running in the snow and cold where I live. It takes a lot of mental strength to get out and run when it’s 14 degrees with snow and ice on the ground.

Correy: I make sure that my easy pace runs are a legit easy pace so that I don’t get overly confident and forget what it feels like to pace myself.

What’s your dream marathon?

Nadia: Honolulu! I grew up there and haven’t been back since. I’d love to return with my son and race on the same streets I rode the school bus on.

Isabella: I am not much into road races, but I think it would be really cool to run one of the marathon majors, such as London. I love traveling and taking runcations. My dream ultra-race though, is to one day get into the Hardrock 100.

Correy: Tokyo

What’s the best post-race meal?

Nadia: Margaritas and nachos! It covers all the food groups, plus a little extra.

Isabella: I love sandwiches! Way more than pizza or burritos. Give me all the veggies, cheese, and avocado on thick sourdough bread with some salty potato chips and a cold beer. And none of that light stuff, I’m talking about a real craft beer!

Correy: My wife’s shrimp and grits!

Dream Marathon

Fun facts about the Chevron Houston Marathon

  • First Race. December 30, 1972 
  • First field. 113 runners  
  • By the numbers through the years. 70,000 volunteers, 20,000 spectators, 13,500 marathoners. 
  • Presidential choice. Former President George W. Bush ran the course in 1993, finishing in 3 hours 44 minutes.  
  • Record-breaking race. The fast, flat course has featured a number of record-breaking runs, including the 2007 North American men’s half-marathon record. A course record has been broken each year for the past six years. 
  • Times to beat. Men: 2:06:51 (Tariku Jufar, 2012) Women: 2:19:12 (Keira D’Amato, 2022).  
  • Run For a Reason Program. Pair race training with fundraising and use your run to give back to a philanthropy of your choice.

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