Personal trainer Jack McGowan and Pilates instructor Jeanette Alford give us the inside scoop on their mental and physical preparation for the ING New York City Marathon, taking place November 6th, 2011.
Have you done a marathon before?
Jack: This is my 3rd marathon. I ran the NYC last year and the Toronto marathon in May of this year ('11).
Jeanette: No, this is my first one.
What was your initial motivation? How do you stay motivated?
Jack: I've always wanted to run a marathon. I knew it would take a lot of physical demands but I wanted to see if I was up to the challenge. I stay motivated by knowing that afterwards there's a HUGE sense of accomplishment and my body feels great, albeit a little tired.
Jeanette: I was watching the marathon last year and just felt that this was something I had to do. I had finished a couple of half marathons at that time and enjoyed meeting the goals. A full marathon would be a great challenge. How do I stay motivated? Whenever I feel like skipping a workout, I think of the charity I am running for and all my friends and family who support me. My older brother is a huge inspiration, as he is a cancer survivor. Also, my husband Peter is my number one fan encouraging me.
What is the greatest obstacle in your training?
Jack: My greatest obstacle is getting up to do a run early in the morning. These are the days that I usually am allowed to sleep till 9, but when I'm marathon training I have to get up at 6/6:30 to get the run in and come home to shower and then still have time to stretch afterwards. It kills your social life, and you have to surrender a lot of what goes along with it including alcohol, late nights with friends, etc.
Jeanette: The greatest obstacle is working training into my daily life. For the past four months my training has dictated my weekends, date nights, meals etc.
How did you formulate a training regime?
Jack: My training schedule is my own design with the input of several running coaches. I gradually add miles on each week approaching the final marathon, especially the three months leading up to the race. You alternate between short interval runs and long distance runs.
Jeanette: Most of my training program comes from “The Competitive Runner’s Handbook.” It also depends on my own schedule and what I have time for that day. My program also includes Pilates and massage.
What do you listen to while running?
Jack: I listen to Fall Out Boy, a little Beatles, some Lady Gaga. But by far the BEST thing to push me is Greenday's American Idiot album, the entire album's about 1hr+, so it can cover me for about 7 miles.
Jeanette: The voices in my head. I don’t run with an ipod. I prefer to use the time to think or not and enjoy the scenery.
Who will be at the race to support you?
Jack: Last year I had a huge support group out there during the race, and this year (fingers crossed) I hope to have just as many. The trick is to have your friends tell you EXACTLY where they're going to be standing and let them know precisely what you'll be wearing colours and all, that way you can look for them, b/c chances are you'll see them before they see you.
Jeanette: My husband, Mom & Dad, friends, collegues, and clients.
Jack and Jeanette both train clients privately at Studio 26.