Monday marked the beginning of the official Marathon training program. Dance Marathon the Marathon (DMM) is a branch of the University of Iowa Dance Marathon (UIDM) that participates in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon each year representing the UIDM. This year, The Bank of America will be on October 12, 2014. The Chicago Marathon is 18 weeks away, which means that the first week of marathon training is underway and 189 runners have all started preparing themselves for a race of a lifetime that will spread lime all through Chicago, and it is all FTK!
Training programs are offered to runners to help prepare them for their 26.2-mile journey. This years’ training programs stem from last years’ programs which Running Wild, DMM’s largest sponsor, helped create. There are two 16 week programs; one which focuses on preparing inexperienced runners with the proper guidelines to complete their very first marathon, and one that focuses on pushing experienced runners to complete the Chicago marathon in a time that satisfies their goal or would qualify them for upcoming marathons. The programs are flexible and can be molded to fit any runners’ weekly schedule. An event that is included in both programs is the FTK 5k, an event held in September that raises money all FTK!
One specific perk of DMM’s training programs are the group runs. Group runs are scheduled every Wednesday and Sunday for runners to attend and run with their fellow DMM teammates. This gives runners the opportunity to meet new runners, push each other through training runs, and learn more about proper stretching, warm ups, and pace workouts. Group runs give runners the chance to get together and run for the same cause, FTK!
Besides training, runners need to eat properly and stay hydrated. For all runs, runners need to remember to be hydrated before and after, and if the run is longer than 60 minutes, it is important they have consumed at least 50g of carbohydrates before the run to fuel themselves along the way. Alex Alwine, DMM co-chair, recommends having a bagel with cream cheese before a long run, drinking water or Gatorade halfway through, and drinking chocolate milk afterwards for recovery. Why chocolate milk? Chocolate milk contains more carbohydrates than protein does, and it also contains electrolytes to help you rehydrate after a workout, plus it tastes great! Proper nutrition is essential when preparing yourself for a marathon; it allows you to train at high intensities and recover quickly. This is crucial, especially when you are going for runs on consecutive days.
On top of the preparation of running the marathon, runners also raise $1000. Runners who are also doing the Big Event have the option to raise $750 by the Chicago Marathon date and raise $250 that’s left by the Big Event. Runners who are only doing the Chicago Marathon have to raise all their money by the marathon date. Throughout the summer, runners are given opportunities and tips to raise their fundraising amount in their hometowns or Iowa City if they are here over the summer.
Let’s support and encourage our runners as they prepare to show Chicago once again, what UIDM is all about with that FTK spirit! Good luck on your training runners!
Special thanks to Alex Alwine for taking the time to provide us with all of this information.
Written by: Shelsey Monroy