Training for the ING Miami Marathon

Some people call winter football or basketball season, but with the advent of cooler weather, January seems very much to be running season, especially with the ING Miami Marathon and Half- Marathon coming up in Jan. 29.

With this in mind, I thought I’d turn devote this column to getting ready for marathons, although I do want to add (on behalf of myself and others) that marathons usually include a “walking” component, which is also a great way to stay fit.

This column’s recommendations from Chris Sebelski, who is an assistant professor of physical therapy at St. Louis University. He penned it as a suggestion for New Year’s, but it seems like perfect timing now.

• Make sure you’re in good physical shape. Get a complete physical before e you start training, because it’s better to prevent injuries than try to recover from them.

• Set realistic goals. If you haven’t been exercising in awhile, start with a walking/jogging mix. Set reasonable goals. Some people feel very tired for the first few weeks after exercise, so set a reasonable goal you can stick to. “Think about small steps and celebrate the victories,” he says. (By the way, being inactive seems impossible in our Miami Beach lifestyle, but it is true in other parts of the country, like St. Louis!)

• Anticipate setbacks. Life happens. You may get a cold, get extra busy at work, or suffer an injury. “There will always be off days when you can’t fit in a workout or your time isn’t your best,” he notes. If there’s a day when you still want to run, but have less time, or are feeling not quite as energetic as usual, recalibrate your goal to one that you can meet.

• Eat Smart. As you start burning more calories, you may find yourself hungry. “Be smart about the type of calories you eat, by including plenty of lean proteins and whole grains.” Also, think hydration, and drink plenty of water.

• Train with a buddy. “Running is hard work, and after the first month or two of diligent training, you may find yourself getting off-track,” he notes. Training with a buddy adds a social aspect and can keep you motivated.

• Utilize Cross Training: Include other forms of exercise in your training program, like hitting the gym to strengthen your core. “Core training builds strength, which, in turn, helps you breathe as you run, “ Sebelski notes. For information on the upcoming ING run, visit

Chamber member Charlotte Libov is a journalist, professional speaker and the author five health books, including “The Women’s Heart Book,” which was made into a PBS special. She works out at Equinox South Beach. For more information, call Robin Conn at 305-673-1172 or visit

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