I cannot believe it's already 2019! Another year has flown by, but I'm super excited about what's to come.
In less than two months I'll be headed back to Walt Disney World for the Princess Half Marathon Weekend! I'll be running with thousands of princesses through the castle and around Epcot for an enchanting 22.4 miles. PLUS, it's my birthday weekend!! :)
So since the runDisney Marathon Weekend and Princess races are almost upon us, I wanted to reach out to my followers on Instagram and answer any runDisney questions they may have!
Question #1: Is there a special training plan when you are participating in more than one race? And how important is nutrition during the training?
Yes! runDisney offers runners the chance to take on multiple miles (meaning more than one race) during each event weekend. I have only ever run the Fairy Tale Challenge, which is the Enchanted 10k and Princess Half Marathon back to back in the same weekend. Every runDisney event hosts a unique challenge, and some are quite difficult. The biggest challenge is during Marathon Weekend where runners have the option to participate in the Dopey Challenge - a 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, and Full Marathon on consecutive days. runDisney provides FREE training programs for all of it's races and challenges on it's website www.rundisney.com. I have trained using Jeff Galloway's programs for every runDisney race with huge success. No matter what race or challenge you decide on, following a training program focused on the mileage you'll be running is key!!
Part II: Nutrition plays a huge factor during your training! I'm still learning what works best for my body, but following a nutrition plan and/or speaking with a nutritionist can make a world of difference. This year I've trained smarter by following a plan that works best for me, and so far I've been seeing amazing results. My running time has improved, my joints are less inflamed, AND I'm less bloated! Hydration is also super important. (Future blog posts will cover this topic more in depth.)
Question #2: What is the biggest struggle when doing a runDisney run?
The biggest struggle for me personally, was getting the proper amount of rest. I typically spend every day in the Disney parks after completing each race, therefore not allowing much time off of my feet. I would recommend taking breaks throughout the day to relax and also staying out of the sun as much as possible. It can also be hard to stay hydrated all day, so you'll need to really pay attention to your body. The actual run itself is so magical, and so much fun if you train properly. Also, don't skimp on the training. ;)
Question #3: How do you get to the race?
If you're staying at a hotel or resort that's located on Disney property, Disney will provide all your transportation needs to and from each and every race! Buses tend to arrive at each resort around 3:30 AM, and lines form rather quickly. Resorts with monorails provide transportation for the half and full marathons only. Buses are easy to locate after the races, and generally pick up groups of runners every 15-20 minutes. If you're staying off Disney property, it's best to drive and park super early, or I've heard Uber is also a viable option! The earlier you can arrive to the race, the better! Disney traffic can be nightmarish.
Question #4: What do you eat during the half marathon to keep you from your blood sugar, hunger, and energy from crashing?!
The morning of the race, I eat a bagel with peanut butter and a whole banana. (I'm no stranger to eating before endurance events.) I also make sure to drink at least one full bottle of water on the bus on the way to the race. During the race, I stop at every water and Powerade station. I believe last year Disney provided "energy jelly beans" along the course, but I packed Gatorade Energy Chews in my Flipbelt. I have also tried GU energy gels, but I prefer the taste and texture of the Gatorade Chews! After the race, I load up on Mickey Waffles. ;)
Question #5: How long should someone (new to running) prepare in advance for a race? How much should they be running as "practice"?
On the runDisney website, Jeff Galloway has training programs for Beginning Runners and Experienced Runners. Typically his 5k Training Program is 13 weeks with increased mileage every other week. I find running 3x a week to be very beneficial, with my long runs always falling on the weekends. I also highly recommend cross-training and allowing for rest days as needed.
Question #6: Do you prefer wearing pants or shorts during the race?
I prefer to run in capri leggings, but I also love 7/8 leggings. Shorts can sometimes ride up and create chafing, so just be cautious of that! I find it best to train in any outfit you think you might wear during the race. Test runs are always a must! I also usually pack a plan B outfit if the weather decides to be unpredictable.
Question #7: Is it worth the price?!
Unfortunately...YES. Disney races are known to be more expensive than most, but it's still a no brainer for me. I love being at Disney World. I love how easy everything is to get to. I love the magic, excitement, and spirit of the runners. I also love the weather and the race course. When it comes down to it...Disney does it best. The price for registration does not include your park tickets, but Disney does provide unbeatable service, constant transportation, and lots of freebies as far as food and drinks for the runners. They do such a great job putting the whole thing together, and the race merchandise is perfect for any Disney lover. AND THE BLING THO.
Question #8: What do you bring with you while you run?
I always carry my phone (fully charged), ear buds, extra hair ties, and energy chews. Depending on the length of the run, I'll also bring my flipbelt. For the runDisney races, you might also want to bring your magic band, chapstick, and any fun costume accessories. :)
Question #9: How do you recover from the race and still have time to explore Disney?
Honestly, I don't give myself mush downtime at all. I typically take it slow getting to the Disney parks around mid-morning/afternoon. I always shower, stretch, and sometimes ice and foam roll once I get back to my hotel room if time allows. Try to fit in as much as you can while you're there, but I definitely suggest wearing comfortable clothing and putting your feet up when you can. Early bedtimes are always a good idea as well. The races end early in the morning, so you'll have plenty of time to explore the parks...just make sure you're not overdoing it!
Question #10: What are your top 5 songs to get you pumped during running?
For runDisney races I always jam out to my "Run Like It's Midnight" Playlist on Spotify! There's no way I can pick just 5 songs, so my next post will cover all the beats you'll want on your running playlist! Obviously, expect to hear plenty of pop, throwbacks, and Disney classics. :)
Question #11: What are some of your favorite things to do during a runDisney weekend?
Thanks to all those who asked questions! I hope you find my answers helpful and encouraging! Let me know in the comments if you'd like to see another post like this again. Good luck to all those running soon!