GERING — With about 10 weeks to go before the eighth running of the Monument Marathon, now is a great time for runners to begin their training regimen.
“For experienced runners in the full-marathon, 10 weeks is a good time to start training,” said Mike Moravec with Bluffs Physical Therapy. "Those runners should have already put in some miles and been in a half-marathon or two, so they know what to expect.”
Ten weeks is more than enough time for runners in the half-marathon to prepare for the Monument Marathon. Moravec said that all runners should check with their physician before starting a training routine.
Moravec said there are a large number of training plans available online to meet the needs of every individual runner.
He said he wants runners, or any athlete, to remain limber to reduce the chance of injury. One way to do that is what commonly called “foam rolling.” A large, hard foam cylinder is used to apply pressure on specific points of the body. The pressure helps reduce muscle tightness, returning the muscles to normal function.
“It’s not for the faint of heart, especially on some of the tighter muscles,” Moravec said, “but it really works out the knots. I recommend this method of self-massage for any athlete. If you do it from the start of your training, you know what your muscles should feel like, so you should be able to detect an injury while it’s still small. Foam rolling is a great way to stay on top of your muscle health.”
Moravec said the best routine is to warm up first and follow that with stretching before the training workout. After the workout, a runner should work out the knots and muscle tightness with foam rolling.
In addition to developing and sticking with a training plan, it’s also important to have a training buddy. Running with another person helps keep runners accountable and on track.
Tracy Tuggle knows the importance of including a training buddy in her workouts. It was actually through a friend that she got into running in the first place.
“I was working out with a friend who has run a half-marathon, so we started running together,” she said. “She suggested we run in the first year of the Monument Marathon and we started training. I’d never been a runner before but now I love to run.”
Tuggle has run the half-marathon in the Monument Marathon event, as well as the Summit-to-Summit run and others at Lake Powell in Arizona and in Deadwood, South Dakota. She said the Monument Marathon is especially nice because the training period is usually at a time of good weather for running.
“The people in the community are really supportive of the marathon and always show up to cheer on the runners,” she said. “I think the course is very challenging for runners, but it goes through some gorgeous country.”
Monument Marathon race director Jennifer Reisig said they have about 236 runners registered as of July 18.
“We have runners coming from states across the country,” she said. “While we don’t have a lot of local people registered so far, that will pick up in the next couple of months.”
The Monument Marathon, with full-marathon, half-marathon and 5K distances, is scheduled for Sept. 28.
Monies raised from the event help the Western Nebraska Community College Foundation provide scholarships to students in need.