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Countdown to Grandma's Marathon starts

There may be snow on the ground, but summer and Grandma's Marathon will soon be here and it's time to get in shape.

Friday, March 22 marked the three-month countdown to Grandma's Marathon and one St. Luke's physician -- a 20-time Grandma's veteran -- has some tips for runners in training.

"The important thing is not trying to go too fast and too far too soon," said Dr. Daniel Wallerstein, of St. Luke's Physical Medicine and Rehab Associates. "There are certainly times, especially early on, when it's cold, and making yourself go out for a run is hard, but having a buddy system with someone of a similar body type and pace helps for training."

He said online marathon training tools are helpful. Grandma's Marathon has produced online tools which detail down to the day where runners should be in terms of preparation.

Wallerstein, who has also run marathons in the Twin Cities, Phoenix, Honolulu and Los Angeles, said that investing in the right clothing can make the difference in motivation on those colder days, while listening to music or podcasts can also help.

"I download podcasts all the time and listen to documentaries to learn about the sciences and finance," he said. "When else can you have an hour of uninterrupted time?"

A couple of Dr. Wallerstein's other tips for marathon training include doing good warm-ups to include the hamstring, Achilles, and calf stretches; and alternating the side of the road on which you run (when safe) -- the camber of the road varies depending on the side you run, so will impact your legs differently.