Texas Running Club members prepare for marathon

Heather Kirby

A short 10 weeks away, the Houston Marathon awaits runners in the Texas Running Club who have endured six weeks of training already for this race.

UT students prepare to run this full marathon, 26.2 miles, on Jan. 15 after following a 16-week workout schedule.

James Burden, vice president of Texas Running Club, said he loves half-marathons and finds full marathons to be extremely rewarding. This marathon will be his second.

“You have to be a little crazy to run a marathon,” biomedical engineering senior Burden said. “Marathons aren’t easy, so training for one is not going to be easy either.”

The training program consists of short and long runs totaling about 30 to 50 accumulated miles per week leading up to the race, said Matthew Ramirez, a member of the Texas Running Club. Alex Dantzler, president of the Texas Running Club, said runners work to improve their endurance over the training period.

“It’s just a slow buildup,” chemical engineering senior Dantzler said. “You just gradually increase your mileage up until a point where two weeks out, your long runs are 20 to 22 miles.”

Mechanical engineering senior Ramirez is training for his first marathon and said after running with the Texas Running Club as a freshman, he decided he wanted to someday run a marathon.

“My goal also is to try to qualify for the Boston Marathon,” Ramirez said. “I think I have somewhat of a chance … It would be the longest run I’ve ever done and the hardest run I’ve ever done.”

Besides distance, nutrition and sleep are critical components of preparing for a marathon. Ramirez cut fatty foods from his diet and said he is eating more protein and carbs to supplement his workouts. He also said it is really important to sleep enough.

“Just making sure that you go to sleep on time and have a really consistent sleeping schedule, around seven or eight hours of sleep every day, really improves your performance,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez sustained an injury while running in track and has since pursued long distance running. He said in spite of the risks, he enjoys the challenge of running long distance.

“I don’t encourage people to only run, but I encourage people to … challenge yourself and do something that seems hard, because you never know how good you’re going to be at it or how much you’re going to enjoy it in the long run,” Ramirez said.