Training for a Race? Follow These Tips from Christy Turlington Burns

Style Diary - Christy Turlington
Photo: Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc/Sipa USA

If your idea of a marathon consists of a weekend-long Netflix binge, then it just might be time for a little fit-spiration. Christy Turlington Burns, runner, philanthropist, and Every Mother Counts founder, knows what it takes to get your butt off the couch and through the finish line. She shared her tips for staying in race-day shape.

Is there one thing you wish you had known while prepping for your first race?

It's crucial to integrate other kinds of strength training from the start. Distance running alone, as great as it feels, is not the healthiest thing for your body. You will be less prone to injury if you cross-train.

What is the best alternate workout?

I always recommend yoga. It's the antidote to running because you're stretching the muscles versus constricting them. Having good posture, a strong core, and an open chest will help you to build up distance in race training.

The most important lesson you've learned from competing in multiple marathons?

Listen to your body. When things aren't feeling right, it's not a matter of running through them. Sometimes it's a change of posture or shoes, or just being conscious of the way your foot strikes the ground.

How do you know when you've found the right balance?

When your breathing isn't labored and you can talk mid-run without feeling exhausted.

What gear do you rely on for long runs?

I have a favorite sock brand named Balega, and I've worn Brooks sneakers for most of my races. For clothing, I never race in brand-new apparel because those raw, unwashed fabrics can cause chafing and skin irritation.

Products that you use beforehand?

Bioderma sunscreen got me through the London Marathon. It smells delicious, and it comes in a convenient travel size.

Your race day essential?

I used the Apple Watch to monitor my pace. It came in handy on non-race days too because the three activity rings on the device show you how much of the day you spend walking, working out, and standing. It's a good reminder to keep active throughout the day, even if I finished my workout first thing in the morning.

What's the toughest part of the race, and how do you stay motivated?

The last 5 miles are rough because during training, you typically don't run more than 21 miles. I race for a cause—to raise funds for women to have access to maternal health care—so during those final miles, I think back on the people I've met who benefit from this care. It keeps me going to know that every step that I'm out there, I'm helping to bring more awareness.

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