Meet Marcel Warren, aged 13. Marcel has been coming to my running classes for approximately a year now. A Lacrosse player and goalie and a natural athlete, Marcel has been adding distance running to his training regime. Currently he's a part of my teen training groups and my Saturday Half Marathon Training Group. He makes us grown-ups feel a little sick because he makes running look so very effortless and easy. He likes to run a short ways ahead. We'll see him at the junctions waiting for us. Then, just when we think maybe we'll be getting a break he goes bounding off, and we are left to try to catch him. If all goes according to plan, Marcel will be taking on his very first half-marathon at the end of September, the Race For A Soldier Half Marathon. Recently he ran his first trail 10K, on the Wildwood Trail in Portland. He finished 4th in the age 13 to 19 division. Not too shabby. His intelligence is off the charts. His humor is quirky. Once he threatened to sue me. Thank goodness for those waivers. Another time, when I was flattering myself by trying to keep up with him in the woods (i.e. I was using him for a workout), he broke into a walk.
"What are you doing?" I gasped. "Why are we walking?"
"You're breathing too hard," he replied. "You need to take a break."
I comforted myself with the thought that at least the kid is listening to everything I teach.
Marcel is one of the gang on Saturdays, and we feel bummed when he's not there. His energy is infectious. Though he has yet to tell me this, and though he may never admit to it this is a kid who runs with pure joy. A very picky eater, Marcel has been known to under-eat in spite of his mother's heroic efforts. So guess what? Marcel's essay consequence is on the importance of running and nutrition.
By Marcel Warren
When you are running, especially long distances, you need to have very good nutrition. Nutrition is very important because it gives you energy. The energy will help you in every way with speed and endurance. Also, if you eat right after 30 minutes, you will recover from your run extremely fast.
Not eating nutritiously can lead to serious problems. If you are running a long distance, lots of carbs are needed, and also some good fats. Protein is definitely needed if you want to have big muscles, and to re-grow your muscles after a run. Protein is not really for energy, although you still need a lot of it.
A week before a big run you need to eat almost twice what you normally eat so you will have tons of energy for the race. You also have to drink a ton. Now, on the day of the race, the time of the race will determine what you eat. The first meal should be something simple like a bowl of cereal. The meal after needs to be a lot of food so that you don’t have an energy crash later. During the run, you need lots of carbs. LOTS. If you don’t fuel with carbs, you will not finish the long race. Also protein and electrolytes are good too. If you're out of energy, feeling sick, breathing hard, being passed by people you already passed, you should eat. If you hallucinate, call 911 and get off of the drugs.