10 Things I Learned From My 1st Marathon

I've often been asked what I learned from my 1st marathon and how I've adjusted training the second time around. So here are the biggest changes I've made in preparation for NYC 2012: 10. Eat more carbohydrates. I'm a better eater than most thanks to my super health conscious wife, so I typically don't over do it on processed carbs. However, to keep my energy and weight up, I've made an extra effort to get this fuel source as I really feel more pep in my run when I carbo load.

9. Increase hydration. I've made a conscious effort to maintain better hydration whether it's for a 4 mile run or a 20 miler. Preparing proper hydration (i.e., belts, packs, bottles) can be a pain, but it's worth it. Pack your water, Gatorade, GU or whatever you fuel up with and STAY HYDRATED!

8. Weigh In. I now myself before and after long runs. I had lost a few more pounds than anticipated during my previous marathon experience so now I keep better track of this information and replenish fluids and calories accordingly.

7. Strength Train. Be consistent with a full body strengthening routine 2x/week. This time, I'm challenging myself to stay as strong as I was on Day 1.

6. Add a protein shake. Help your muscles repair after that 20 miler with a nice protein boost. As mentioned earlier, it also supports my goal of maintaining muscle mass.

5. Run with a group. I rarely ran with anyone while training for my first marathon, and it was very challenging (and lonely) at times. I've found that running with a group on a regular basis adds more fun to the training process and pushes you to be better!

4. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks. I love feeding my brain while I'm running now. I've enjoyed "reading" and learning on the go.

3. Wear Compression sleeves and socks. I just got some and love 'em. More on that to come.

2. Run with a jogging stoller. I didn't have any kids the first time around, so this is something I've enjoyed adding to my training.  It's a great time to spend with my girls and a good strength workout.

1. Use a GPS watch. I did ok with the Nike + feature on my iPod, but the ease and accuracy of using a GPS watch is great.