Up North: Runners Begin Spring Training for Grandma's Marathon

Updated: March 27, 2019 11:12 PM

In a matter of less than three months, thousands of runners from around the world will be in Duluth running in the 43rd Annual Grandma's Marathon. On Saturday, Essentia Health partnered with Grandma's to host their 'Gearing up for Grandma's' event.

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"We're really excited to do this event," said Grandma's Marathon Marketing and Public Relations Director Mandi Peterson. "We put it on for local runners so they can partake, get some information and get some good resources to help with their training. Whether they're training or not at all, it could be just a casual runner that wants to learn more about the sport."

First-time participants and veteran runners were invited to help kick start their training process. New this year were breakout sessions specified for runners that included yoga, self-defense, strength and conditioning, race course and medical information, as well as a nutrition.

"I think we just decided to try something new this year. Then, it allows runners and participants to do the things that interest them more," added Peterson.

Jeff Galloway, a running training consultant, also joined the event as the keynote speaker. At 73 years old, he's ran 232 marathons.

"My wife and I run a full marathon each month, only because we use my run walk run method," said Galloway.

The year will mark Galloway's second time running in Grandma's Marathon, but he says the reason he's been able to participate in so many is because of his run walk run method. It's a training program fit to help runners of all ages and abilities complete a marathon.

"What I have found in bringing together the amount of running and amount of walking is that if you have the amounts right, you don't have to get injured. You're the one that's strong all the way to the end," added Galloway.

With time winding down and Grandma's Marathon nearing, Dr. Ben Nelson of Essentia Health says the most important thing is to find a formal marathon training program and complete it.

"Be meticulous about your training, figure out your pacing, practice your nutrition, practice your hydration and you'll be ready to finish the race," said Nelson.

Nelson added it's the best way to prevent some of the most common medical illness to ensure runners cross the finish line.

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