IMT Des Moines Marathon

IMT Des Moines Marathon
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Running Advisory Warning

Runners should always be extra cautious when exerting any type of physical activity during heat advisory warnings. Many times when training for a marathon or half marathon athletes will follow a training guide. It seems that with experience we learn that training guides are merely a tool to assist us with our training for race day.  We learn to personalize them and adjust them to fit into our schedules.

Often times, if we try to follow a training guide too rigidly, other things in our lives tend to suffer.  Training guides should be a complement to our lifestyles, which includes running on a regular basis.  As humans, we must be able to accommodate the day to day changes that can occur in our lives.  Some of these changes are within our control, while others, like weather, are outside our control.  Changes outside of our control may force us to react and alter our day to day habits, which may not be easy.   
The running conditions this week can serve as a good example.  If a heat advisory is in effect and you are given constant reminders to stay indoors, listen to them. One general rule of thumb is that if you notice there aren’t as many people running outside as there normally are, say over the lunch hour or on your way home from work, it is with good reason.  It is not a good time to convince yourself that, "okay I won't run today, let's mow the lawn instead", when the heat index is 113.  Perhaps it is a good time to provide yourself with an extra rest day.

If you have found that you are spending less time with family or friends in order to spend more time with your training schedule, use the break in your training schedule to thank them for their support and spend some extra time with them.  Try to relax in the air conditioning at home or treat your family to a cool atmosphere a movie theatre.  Another idea is to shopping at your grocery store and continues to search out proper foods and nutrients to fuel you before and after your workout s or get yourself fitted for a new pair of running shoes at the specialty running store in your area. 

Instead of dropping your schedule completely for the week, you may want to focus on cardio vascular cross training methods or spend some time in the pool.   If you are still planning to run, try running early in the morning. Cut back a little on your mileage for the week and your normal pace.  It is okay to stop and take walking breaks.  You have permission. 

Getting in a 3 mile run in the morning is better than trying to get in a 5 mile run after work when it is 90 degrees outside.  Find a tread mill and run indoors, or go to the mall and walk laps for an hour. Whatever you do, make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids and try to stay out of the heat and excessive activity.
Your training will not suffer if you knock a couple of miles off of your runs during the week. In fact, you could do more damage to your body than good by trying to run without giving regard to the conditions.  It is easy to upset the balance of electrolytes in your system and dehydration and overheating can lead to strokes.  Once the heat subsides, your body will reward you and pick itself back up where you left off with your training regimen.  Be smart.  When in doubt, take the day off or take it easy. 

For more information visit the Running Club portion of the IMT Des Moines Marathon website at  

Monday, June 27, 2011

Wave Starts for Principal Financial Group 5K Road Race

The IMT Des Moines Marathon introduced the Principal Financial Group 5K Road Race to race day in 2006.  The idea at the time was to offer a 5K race so that runners new and old to the sport could participate in a shorter distance, while having the opportunity to be a part of the festive IMT Des Moines Marathon experience.  We know that not everyone is a long distance runner and if we wanted them to be a part of our event we needed to create a race they would want to participate in.

The 10K distance was examined pretty closely at the time.  There aren’t too many 10K races in Central Iowa and a local company was interested in sponsoring the distance. Possible routes were laid out, including the idea of a trail race.  Instead the Bankers Trust Marathon Relay was created.  The relay event was gaining in popularity across the country and a 5-person team could split up the IMT Des Moines Marathon course averaging between 4-6 miles per leg, which would give us a race with a 5K distance, as well as an event with a 10K distance.

The Principal Financial Group 5K Road Race features a 3 mile course that shares the same start and finish line of the IMT Des Moines Marathon.  The 5K Road Race crosses the newly completed Principal Riverwalk Bridge and then runs out and back along the Des Moines River before heading through the East Village.  Participants will catch glimpses of the Botanical Center, City Hall, Iowa Historical Building, and Iowa Statehouse before retuning back downtown for a finish in the heart of downtown Des Moines at Nollen Plaza. 

Five years later, The Principal Financial Group 5K Road Race has grown into a race of its own.  In 2010, there were just fewer than 800 finishers in the 5K Road Race and this year more than 1,000 are anticipated.  Finishers are offered a finisher medal and prize money is offered to the top two overall male and female finishers. 

To accommodate the growth of the Principal Financial Group 5K Road Race, race officials this year will offer a 3 wave start to ease congestion as runners reach the Principal Riverwalk Bridge.  Athletes will be lined up according to 1 of 3 5K Road Race divisions: Competitive, Non-Competitive, and Walker.  Each wave will start within 2 minutes of one another.  Just enough time to get runners across the start line map and onto the race course.

I hope you will be a part of our growing numbers as we celebrate 10 Years Running on October 16, 2011. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fat Tire Fun Runs

The IMT Des Moines Marathon Running Club held it's first club activity last week at El Bait Shop in downtown Des Moines.  More than 20 runners gathered for the Fat Tire Fun Run, a collaborative effort between the IMT Des Moines Marathon, Iowa Beverage, and Full Court Press. 

The monthly Fun Run meets the last Tuesday of each month over the course of the summer.  The Fun Runs feature 3 and 5 mile routes that start and end at El Bait Shop.  Drink and food specials, along with promotional giveaways, are offered to runners who are looking to meet others in a relaxing atmosphere that likely breaks up the routine of their weekly running work out. 

You don't have to be a member of the Running Club to participate in the Fat Tire Fun Runs.  They are free and open to the public.  Be sure to join the IMT Des Moines Marathon Running Club for the next Fat Tire Fun Run on June 28 at 6 p.m.