Coach Keena’s Training Tips Presented by ASEA

You’re probably deep into your training for June 8th. ASEA, the marathon’s title sponsor, is pleased to bring you these training tips from Coach Keena, local expert running coach.

The following are some helpful training tips to get you to the start line of your big day, healthy and ready to have a great race.

1) When training for a marathon or half marathon be sure to train on similar terrain to your race. Utah Valley Marathon has a fair amount of downhill running, so if you have not been training your muscles and connective tissue to withstand the stress of running downhill, begin now and incorporate those hills into your training.

2) Recovery is a BIG deal in your training. You are not actually getting faster or stronger DURING your training runs. In fact, you are breaking down muscle tissue. So, it is very important that you give your body the recovery it needs to be able to rebuild itself and come back stronger and better for your next bout of training. A few good ways to aid in recovery:

a. Utilize ICE BATHS post run. This doesn’t have to be miserable cold, just cold enough enough to help reduce inflammation. Fill your bathtub with cold water and have a bucket of ice on the side. Sit down in the cold water (making sure it covers up to about your waist..and feel free to wear a sweatshirt or something else to keep your upper body warm) and then slowly introduce ice into the water. Enjoy for about 10 minutes!

b. Compression is a great tool to aid with post workout recovery because it helps with improved circulation and waste product removal. You can use compression socks or tights and wear them post workout (although many people even like to wear them during their workout)

c. Stay hydrated! This isn’t just during your training, but ALL the time. If your body is dehydrated, it will never be able to function at full capacity. A general rule of thumb is to drink about 96 ounces of water every day. This is especially important for all you athletes out there that are losing more fluids as a direct result of fluid loss in the form of sweat during your training.

d. SLEEP! Ahhh! This is a big deal. Our bodies are able to repair, heal and improve when we are sleeping. Too many athletes inadvertently sabotage their training and never reach their full potential because they don’t give their body the sleep that is so desperately needed in order to repair all the damage that occurs during training. If you are struggling with lack of energy and motivation, are slow to recover from your training efforts, struggle with persistent injuries, and are frustrated with your inability to maintain the body composition/weight that you desire, then take a good look at your sleep patterns. If you are getting less than 7-8 hours of sleep a night, make it a priority to change your habits and get to bed earlier so you can benefit from that restorative, sleep! Your body will thank you and reward you with amazing results!

3) Nutrition is KEY to your success in reaching your goals as an athlete. Make sure that you are putting quality fuels into your hard working body to ensure it has the nutrients it needs to get you across that finish line healthy and happy. Lean proteins, lots of vegetables and fruits, complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, yams, etc. and of course healthy fats that will help repair connective tissue with their valuable omega 3 fatty acids are going to be crucial in getting you to the start line (and beyond!)

4) Strength Training/Cross Training is essential! Ever notice how most runners don’t have great muscle tone and struggle with constant injuries? If you are only running and not utilizing the amazing benefits of strength training in your efforts, then you are missing out on a tremendous tool that will make you an even better runner without increasing your time spent running! Commit to incorporating a well developed strength training program that engages all the muscles of your body in a functional and effective manner you will be giving yourself a huge boost in strength, stamina, speed, and injury resistance. It’s worth it! Do it!!

5) Finally, Enjoy the journey! Don’t forget to enjoy every step of this wonderful journey and adventure you have embarked upon. When you hit a rough patch in a long training day or in the race, shift your thinking and remember just how lucky you are to be healthy and able to participate in this great event. How true the saying: “It doesn’t always have to be fun to be Fun!” Sometimes the satisfaction comes from overcoming a challenge and proving that we are tougher and more amazing than we ever knew. You will prove that to yourself in just a few more weeks!

Incorporate these tips into your training and racing and enjoy a terrific season of healthy training and successful racing!

About Coach Keena: Coach Keena Schaerrer has been coaching endurance athletes for over 15 years. She is a USA Triathlon Certified coach, USA Track and Field Certified coach, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, CSNA (Certified Sports Nutrition Advisor), as well as CrossFit and CrossFit Endurance certified. She has trained and coached over 800 athletes in triathlon and endurance sports success in every event from sprint distance triathlon to Ironman distance racing to working with 5k beginners and Boston Marathon qualifiers. As an athlete herself she has qualified for the Boston Marathon, competed in 8 World Championship races ranging from Olympic distance triathlon to Ironman World Championships and been a 5 time All American triathlete. She is the owner and head coach at Ultimate Peak CrossFit as well as the head coach for the CK Elite Racing Team.

For more information contact Coach Keena at Or visit her website and