Allen Curreri

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Preparing For Your First Marathon

Preparing For Your First Marathon

It is 2018 and bucket-lists are far from an ending fad. While traveling and dining destinations are sure to make the cut, there is a surprising bucket-list contender that is more common than one might think: marathon running. Completing 26.2 miles is an ultimate physical goal that many people work to accomplish. The sheer physicality of the race can be a significant challenge– although with discipline, diet, and exercise, the success of running a marathon can be addictive.

Your first marathon will be very different from other races and physical challenges and therefore requires specific training. Stay consistent, pay attention to your body, and take it one day at a time. Get mentally prepared, sign up, and take the leap.

 

Where to begin

The first place to start: understanding. You need to know your body and understand that you don’t just wake up as a marathon runner. It takes time, practice, and sweat. Depending on your age and shape, you may want to consult a physician before entering marathon training. Once you are cleared to go, start small. It is recommended to become a consistent runner for a year before entering a marathon. However, it’s your life, so do you. But remember to be healthy and safe. Build up endurance and mileage over time, and enter in shorter races to get prepared physically and mentally. Some great races to start with include 5ks, 10ks, and half-marathons.

 

Elements of Marathon Training:

 

  • Base Mileage – Base mileage is simply how many miles you can run at the beginning of your training. This is the amount of mileage that your body is comfortable running. The point of knowing your base mileage is so that you can aim to increase your weekly mileage over the course of a span of time. Run three-to-five times a week and avoid increasing weekly mileage by more than 10% from week to week.
  • Long Run – Starting with shorter distances (10-15 miles) and working your way up (20 miles), doing a long run every 7-10 days extending the mileage every other week, allowing your body to gradually adjust to long distances and build endurance. Preferably, first-time marathon runners should run 20 to 21 miles 2-3 times before the day of the race.
  • Speed work – This element is all about increasing cardio capacity by practicing intervals and tempo runs. Intervals are running repetition sets ran at a substantially high pace with recovery jogs in between. Whereas Tempo Runs are longer paced runs aimed at building mental and physical endurance. While this is an optional part of marathon training, speed work can increase aerobic capacity making runs easier and more enjoyable.
  • Rest and Recovery – Resting and recovery, for some, can feel pointless or useless. However, the rest allows your body to heal for maximum performance. If you just can’t sit still during these days, utilize cross training. Whether its a hike, swimming, yoga or lifting weights, find yourself a workout that isn’t high-impact or extremely actively.
More Running Myths That Might Trip You Up

More Running Myths That Might Trip You Up

Runners get a lot of flack about their morning miles. Ask any regular jogger, and they can probably recite the well-intentioned lecture that concerned friends, family members, and barely-there work acquaintances like to send their way verbatim. These critics – who probably haven’t laced up their running shoes for more than a brisk power walk in years – typically have a litany of the same prodding concerns:

Haven’t you heard that running is bad for your joints?

Why do you do this regularly – it looks awful!

Can I introduce you to an elliptical?

But the truth is, anyone who dedicates themselves to running probably loves the sport enough to gently sidestep these concerns. Many of these complaints are based in myth rather than fact, in any case!

I previously listed a few common myths plaguing the running community. Below, I’ve included several more misconceptions that runners can confidently ignore whenever another conversation turns into a lecture.

 

“Eating before a run is always a bad idea”

Everyone is different when it comes to pre-run eating; some runners are able to eat small meals with little to no gastrointestinal reaction, while others may struggle to make it through a run after eating a light snack. That said, eating before a run is not necessarily a bad idea — it is all about finding what works for you. If you are the type of runner who needs a few hours to digest a meal, for example, plan accordingly so you are ready to hit the roads with a light stomach. Conversely, if you prefer a last minute jump start, keep yourself prepared with a piece of fruit, energy bar, or another snack predetermined to sit well during the run. Regardless, runners need to fuel themselves to maintain a healthy and productive training cycle, and if you are new to running, do not be afraid to experiment with different foods and eating schedules to see what caters to your individual needs.

 

“It doesn’t matter what training shoes you wear”

This misconception can quickly spell disaster for new runners, as wearing the wrong training shoes almost always leads to an injury. Trainers come in all shapes and sizes, ranging in designs based on different foot types, and proper preparation is key in selecting the right brand and model. Most speciality shops offer foot analyses in which new runners are able to establish their own unique gait, taking characteristics like foot size and arch into consideration. Then, staff are able to determine which shoes best fit this specific foot type, mitigating the risk of injury and discomfort. The best rule of thumb is to wear a shoe that feels natural — if it feels unnatural, it is probably not the shoe for you.

 

“You should carbo load the night before a race”

It is a very common mistake amongst new runners to “carbo load,” or ingest excessive amounts of carbohydrate-rich foods, within 24 hours of a big race. In reality, carbo loading is best accomplished over a period of up to a week prior to competition, and if that event is shorter than two hours, it is usually better to avoid dietary alteration altogether. Either way, make sure that, in the hours leading up to the race, you are eating in a manner that you are sure will not upset your stomach and sabotage your performance — the pre-race period is the worst time to experiment with new foods.

Running Myths That Might Trip You Up

Running Myths That Might Trip You Up

Runners get a lot of flack about their morning miles. Ask any regular jogger, and they can probably recite the well-intentioned lecture that concerned friends, family members, and barely-there work acquaintances like to send their way verbatim. These critics – who probably haven’t laced up their running shoes for more than a brisk power walk in years – typically have a litany of the same prodding concerns:

 

Haven’t you heard that running is bad for your joints?

Why do you do this regularly – it looks awful!

Can I introduce you to an elliptical?

 

But the truth is, anyone who dedicates themselves to running probably loves the sport enough to gently sidestep these concerns. Many of these complaints are based in myth rather than fact, in any case! Below, I’ve listed a few of the more common myths that runners can confidently ignore whenever another conversation turns into a lecture.

 

Too Much Running is Bad for You

We’re all suckers for catchy titles. Over the past few years, runners might have noticed some major newspapers circulating articles that seemed to warn against the long-term dangers of running; the Wall Street Journal even featured a piece headlined: “One Running Shoe in the Grave: New Studies on Older Endurance Athletes Suggest the Fittest Reap Few Health Benefits.” The writer bases this splashy piece on a 2012 study that seemed to imply that runners who achieved an average of 20-25 miles per week had a higher death rate than those who ran sparingly.

 

However, this article pulled these findings without noting a key caveat: researchers used statistical methods which allowed them to establish an “equalized” baseline for weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol, effectively erasing the majority of running’s positive impact on cardiovascular health. As one particularly irate blogger for Runner’s World put it: “They’re effectively saying, ‘If we ignore the known health benefits of greater amounts of aerobic exercise, then greater amounts of aerobic exercise don’t have any health benefits.’”

 

So, should you run 25 miles a week? If it’s beyond your ability, probably not. But if you have the capability and urge to do so, there doesn’t seem to be any harm in it.

 

Missing a Workout Will Tank your Performance

Skipping a workout won’t mean the end of your high performance streak. Use common sense; if you feel sick or notice pain when you run, take a break! Pushing yourself only increases the odds that you’ll get sick – and taking a day to allow your body to recover will have far less of an impact on your running time than a weeklong stint in bed.

 

You Need to Stretch Before a Run

What do you do to warm up before a run? According to research published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, you probably shouldn’t make static stretches part of your pre-run routine. This 2010 study found that distance runners who performed static stretches tended to have a poorer performance than those who forewent stretches altogether. For best results, do dynamic exercises before a run, and save the static stretches for your cool-down!

 

Running is Bad for Your Knees

It’s easy to understand why runners and non-runners might think that running is bad for joints when each and every stride feels concussive. But recent research has thoroughly debunked this misconception; in fact, a regular practice of running might actually protect against degenerative joint disorders!

 

Running in Cold Weather is Unhealthy

Illnesses stem from germs, not temperature. Runners who keep their head and hands warm will be just fine. Ironically,  you’re more likely to catch a cold in a warm and crowded room than on a cold running trail!

 

About Allen Curreri

Dr. Allen Curreri is a pharmaceutical professional, a researcher in clinical decision making, and a consultant. But first and foremost, Allen is a community member.

 

Allen Curreri is proud to call Atlanta, Georgia home for the past two decades. He cares deeply about his hometown, and after seeing how much his city gave to him as a young man, Allen is dedicated to giving back tenfold to the community he loves.

Allen considers it a personal responsibility and a privilege to serve his community in every way he can. Plus, Allen knows how to have fun getting his hands dirty for a good cause! As a family man himself, he is particularly drawn to the work of United Way, where he has been a loyal volunteer for over fifteen years, and counting. With United Way, Allen focuses on creating self-sustaining progress and strong communities. The mission? Filling the most vital gaps and providing for the most fundamental unmet needs: health, income, and education.

A long-time running and marathon enthusiast, you can often find Allen on the paths and tracks around Atlanta training for his next challenge. Nothing is more satisfying than taking care of yourself while working for others, and Allen Curreri is a great believer in getting out on the streets and running for a good cause in fundraisers and charity marathons.

Allen’s Current Project

Allen’s next challenge is his gift to the community.

All across America, thousands of students are denied the federal student aid they need to fund their dreams of a college education. Why? A one-time mistake. Few people know that teens with one-time drug offenses on their record are made ineligible for student loans or work study, even if they never re-offend again.

The kids affected the most are often underserved, underprivileged, and lacking support systems — kids who already fought every odd to get a quality education. Kids who’s dreams are crushed without the federal support they need to tackle tuition.

These kids aren’t looking for a handout, just an education. Allen Curreri’s mission is to give them a fighting chance to reach their goals. He is currently working to build an organization that will offer scholarships to youth with one-time drug offenses. Those who pass the rigorous essay and interview process will live out their dreams of attending college, right there at home in Atlanta, GA, where they’ll enrich the local community and economy.

Allen is currently seeking support and partnerships of all kinds to turn his vision — and the vision of hundreds of students — into reality.

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Career Background

Allen Curreri studied pre-pharmaceutical work as an undergraduate and soon tailored his focus to the business side of the medical industry. In 2003 he entered the College of Business Administration at Georgia Southern University. As he worked toward his Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) Allen balanced his studies with an entry position in medical sales. One year later, he joined GE Healthcare as an ultrasound equipment sales professional.

For the next eight years Allen worked with GE Healthcare, spending much of his time inside hospitals and ERs and cultivating the wealth of medical industry experience that guides his work to this day. When he left GE Healthcare in 2012 he sought out a role in pharmaceutical sales. He accepted a position as Director of National Sales at Prestige Medical Solutions Limited, and would eventually work his way up to Chief Operations Officer of Prestige.

Allen’s experience in pharmaceutical sales has allowed him to travel around the world and to network within diverse pools of professionals at industry conferences. A resident of Atlanta, Georgia, Allen has traveled everywhere from parts of the U.S. and Canada to England, France, South Korea, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. He attends conferences to track the expansion of different institutions or pharmaceutical companies; over the years he has observed some of the largest and most influential conferences attended by pharmacists, technicians, and Congressional health care policy writers.