“When I was working full-time, sleep was something that was neglected. I made a New Year’s resolution this year to get to bed before midnight every night, because sleep is so essential to recovery. With my weight-loss clients (I’m a registered dietician), I talk about the role that sleep can play in appetite control, too. When you’re sleepdeprived, you’re more likely to consume extra calories.”
“During marathon training, we’re pushing our bodies to the red line, so it’s really important to replenish. Ever since I found that I was anemic while I was in school, I’ve taken an iron supplement every day. I take vitamin D most of the year (I back off a bit in the summer) and I take fish oil regularly if I’m not eating a lot of oily fish. I take a probiotic for immune system health and to aid in digestion. Rather than a multivitamin, I would recommend eating lots of colourful fruits and veggies to get those nutrients.”
“The day before a marathon, I make sure that I’m drinking electrolytes, usually eLoad or Nuun. It sounds kind of funny, but drinking is actually something I practise because I found it tough at first to drink and run at the same time, and rehearsing helps me avoid GI issues on race day. I don’t know if I’m just uncoordinated too, but I struggled at first with actually picking up my bottles while running at race pace (my first marathon I was dropping them and knocking them all over the place), so now my coach and I even rehearse that, he sets up a table and I’ll run by and practise picking up my drinks.”
“The marathon truly is a community event and it’s amazing to run with so many other people. I think in every marathon, there’s going to be periods of time when you question why you’re doing this, but that challenge is like life itself – there are things that you have to overcome and you can be really proud when you push through. I think the marathon gives you confidence to tackle other things in life.
“Even though Houston was my best time, I think the Pan Am Games was the most memorable race for me. Getting to run in my hometown was special and I really felt like I was drawing strength from the support of the crowd. So even though the conditions were brutally hot and competitors were dropping and my coach was debating if I should keep going because I was looking a little rough, the thing I remember the most was the people cheering me on.”
AGE 30 (31 IN OCTOBER) HOMETOWN GUELPH/ TORONTO MARATHONS 5 PB 2:32: 09 Rachel Hannah winning the Canadian Half Marathon Championships/Calgary Half Marathon