January 26, 2022

Texan Annie Palacios, who now lives in Los Angeles, California, was a casual runner until 2015 when she signed up to a half marathon and achieved a time of 2:03. Five marathons, and knee surgery, later, the Buzz Power fan kindly shares her training tips as she gears up for the Mesa Marathon in Arizona.

"In 2016, I ran the London Marathon in 2016 in 4.48 and again in 2017 and 2018 - all the time with an undiagnosed torn knee ligament. Ultimately, my slower marathon race times in 2017 and 2018, plus the rigorous training I was doing, alerted me that something was wrong.

I had a successful MPFL knee operation after London Marathon 2018, and the recovery process was very challenging. I worked hard at my physiotherapy to get stronger for nine months post op. After that, I had to relearn how to run, starting at a minimum of two miles very slowly a few times a week.

In 2019, I got a coach who helped me get to a time of 4:15 at Chicago Marathon that year. While many races were cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, I still kept training and did time trials at shorter distances. In 2021, I narrowly missed a Boston qualifying time at the California International Marathon (CIM) by a mere 25 seconds when I ran 3:40:25!"

Marathon runner Annie Palacios
marathon runner training


Annie's next race is Mesa Marathon, Arizona, in early February, where she is aiming for sub 3:40, and a strong Boston qualifying time. The Buzz Power fan kindly shared her hard-won tips for training for a marathon. So if you're thinking of signing up this year - for the first time or the fifth - read on!

1) Run most of your runs at an easy effort rather than a set pace. Easy efforts vary from person-to-person, but the general rule is that you should be able to carry on a conversation for this type of running.

2) Marathon training requires endurance, so much of your weekly mileage should come from easy running and the long run. Getting faster marathon times, however, require faster sessions, so a workout once a week is great to get some speed in the legs! Fartleks, VO2 max, and lactate threshold sessions are so helpful!

3) Train at the fitness level you are in - not the level where you want to be. Running improvements do not happen overnight, so staying patient and consistent with your training is key!

4) Practice fuelling and hydration on your long runs, especially closer to race day! Long runs are like dress rehearsals ahead of the big day, so it is important to know what works best for your body - and stomach - to avoid stomach upset or cramps. I incorporate Buzz Power Energy in my fuelling regimen, and it is gentle on my stomach while providing the necessary sugar and electrolytes from nature to keep me going!

5) Incorporate cross training once a week into your training plan to give the same muscles a break from running and still get cardio benefits.

6) Eat well 90 percent of the time. As the saying goes, “You cannot outrun a bad diet!” I eat everything I want in moderation, but focus on getting in plenty of fruits and vegetables, yogurts, eggs, lean chicken, and dark chocolate. Oh yes, and good grains and carbs for glycogen!

7) Make sleep a priority. Go to bed early and get at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep a night. Sleep is when your body recovers and repairs itself from all of the wear-and-tear from training.

8) Foam rolling is your friend. Try to foam roll before every run as it is important to loosen up any fascia or tight muscles caused from running. Foam rolling helps to prevent tight muscles that could lead to injury.

9) Book a sports massage at least once a month, or bi-weekly if your budget allows. It can be a bit costly, but it can save you grief in the long run by staving off injury!

10) Enjoy the process and discipline of training. Running is a hard sport, and races are the icing on the cake! Training can be tough, so focus on consistency and why you love running!

marathon runner Annie Palacios
marathon runner Annie Palacios

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