Disclaimer: The following is a sponsored post for The Motherhood, in conjunction with Team In Training and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Though statistics and training tips were provided to me to share with my readers, the purple admiration and opinions of TNT are my own.
Visit any large race, like the Rock ‘n Roll series or Walt Disney World Marathon and you will see packs of people dressed in purple pushing it through the miles while an equal number purple spectators stand in the sidelines cheering and supporting these athletes. At some races, the purple spectators and cheerleaders have been spotted to jump into a race and run a few miles with their Team In Training purple counterparts. Though these herds of purple people may momentarily fool you into thinking the color scheme of a race has drastically changed to purple, no matter what, you will not forget the impact they have on others and you.
Over the years, I’ve had running partners who trained for marathons and half marathons as part of Team in Training (TNT). Whenever they shared their positive experiences with the program, I wanted to learn more about it, but truthfully, fear of fundraising always steered me away from Team in Training.
Then, about a year ago, my uncle contracted blood cancer. How could I offer him and his family support thousands of miles away? With the help of Team In Training, I could show my support, give my time and effort while doing something I loved, training for races.
Team In Training (TNT – the world’s largest and most successful charity sports endurance training program) is the flagship fundraising campaign of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS – the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, TNT has trained more than 570,000 people and helped LLS invest more than $875 million in research to discover and deliver breakthrough cancer treatments that are saving lives today.
Despite advances in survival rates, about half of blood cancer patients do not survive, so more funding is needed to advance research and ensure access to treatments. That’s where we (runners, walkers or cyclists) can help.
A program that runs throughout the year, TNT gives participants a choice of more than 200 accredited national and local events in the United States and abroad. In exchange for raising funds, they receive four to five months of personalized training by TNT-certified professional coaches. The perfect amount of time to train for your first or next marathon!
And to help you cross that finish line, the TNT Coaches have compiled some great training tips.
- Make the most of your warm up and cool down: remember that the purpose of the warm up is to slowly elevate your heart rate and respiration, while the cool down does the opposite
- Treadmill training – especially padded ones to reduce injury – is an effective way to train for a race if weather or safety is an issue
- Prevent injuries by making sure your shoes aren’t worn out and you have the right model for your foot type and running style, and replace your running shoes every 350-400 miles
- Hydrate, but don’t overdo it: drink to your thirst and no more than about 6 ounces every 20 minutes; check the color of your urine throughout the day (dark means you need to drink more; clear means you are drinking too much)
- For nutrition, take in about 100 calories after about an hour of running and then another 100 calories every 40-45 minutes after that
- The clothes you wear while running will vary with the seasons, but in general, you will need technical fabric clothing that will wick away moisture from the skin and keep you comfortable and dry
- To prevent blisters and chafing, avoid 100% cotton. Make sure your socks don’t have irritating seams and wear correctly sized shoes
Get inspired by the amazing stories of survival and accomplishment on the TNT site or share your own. Check out the TNT website to find a race near you and become part of TNT. Help LLS achieve its goal of a world without blood cancers by joining TNT.
Have you ever participated in TNT? Share your story in the comments section below. Are you inspired to cross the finish and train with TNT for your next race?
To inspire and motivate you to cross the finish line with Team In Training, I have a TNT prize pack for one lucky Run DMT reader. As pictured below, the bag includes a shirt, pens, mug, sunscreen and other TNT goodies. Contest ends July 15.