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Fitness center seminar gives runners advice for marathon preparation

By Robert Goetz | 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs | May 10, 2019


Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph’s Rambler Fitness Center has scheduled a class to help set up budding and experienced runners for success in the Air Force Marathon Sept. 21 and future events.

The Kickoff Marathon Training Seminar is set for noon May 22 at the fitness center, building 999.

“The seminar will help lay down the groundwork for runners on how to prepare for a marathon, creating some awareness of steps you will need to take to prepare yourself mentally, physically and spiritually,” said Adrian Gonzales, Rambler Fitness Center fitness program manager.

The seminar will cover a number of bases – from training plan scheduling tips for runners at beginner and intermediate levels to strength training advice, nutrition and choosing the right shoes.

Preparing for a marathon takes time, Gonzales said.

“A good general rule is to start your training regime about 16 weeks from the date of your marathon,” he said. “It is good to adhere to a good training schedule, but it is also important to make sure that the training schedule is realistic to your fitness level. Sixteen weeks is a good time frame to allow for the body to adapt to the stressors of a marathon.”

During the class, Gonzales will use the fitness center’s Marathon Training Guide to steer beginning and intermediate runners through progressive daily training plans that also include needed days of rest.

Gonzales also encourages runners to build up to marathons by competing in shorter-distance runs such as 5Ks, 10Ks and half-marathons.

“For beginners, it is good to have some low-key races to help boost your confidence before the big day,” he said. “These types of runs can prepare you mentally and physically for the rigors of running nonstop for several hours. If time is your goal, these types of runs can also help establish a pace to help with aerobic strength and efficiency.”

During training, having a running partner can be beneficial, Gonzales said.

“You can gauge your exertion levels based on how clearly you can talk with your partner,” he said. “It can also take your mind off the rigors of running. In some cases it may even give you that extra motivation, keeping you accountable throughout the training program.”

Gonzales said he stresses the importance of diet, nutrition and hydration in a running regimen.

“Completing a marathon is about strength, endurance and stamina; proper hydration, nutrition and training are vital to a runner’s success,” he said. “Seeking guidance from a nutritionist and other professionals can be a key to success before attempting any fitness program and achieving your goals.”

Runners should not overlook strength training in their preparation, Gonzales said.

“Upper body strength can help with balance, better posture and more power for sprint,” he said. “Lower body strength can offer protection from the possibility of injury when running fast downhill or even for uphill strength, while abdominal strength can help protect the back and assist in maintaining proper running form and posture.”

Choosing the right footwear is another consideration.

“For the demands ahead of you leading up to your ultimate goal, I would advise speaking to a shoe expert,” Gonzales said. “They can custom-fit your shoe to your specific foot type.”

For more information, call 210-652-7263.