Last updated: January 04. 2014 11:03PM - 2294 Views
JON O’CONNELL joconnell@timesleader.com

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We all might not be so prepared to scamper up a 3-mile-high African cliff side or run in the Steamtown Marathon this year, but accomplished fitness instructor Betty Dunsavage has a few tips to get ready for athletic events.

Dunsavage, 68, of Luzerne, stressed the importance of preparedness before attempting an athletic feat like a marathon, or shorter races like a 10-K.


“You have to start of slow and work your way up,” Dunsavage said. “If you’re an individual who is just starting out, you should proceed slowly.”

Dunsavage recommends working out three days a week: Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Then, as your body grows more comfortable, add more workout days.

“I have some people who come five days a week. They do that because their bodies have adjusted to the exercise,” Dunsavage said.

When training for a marathon, she begins 17 weeks in advance, working her way up to a 20-mile run by the tenth week.

She said coupling running with weight training and swimming gets more mileage out of a run. She said Odyssey has been a great place to work every day, where she can get in the pool for a low-impact workout while leading her classes.


When getting ready for a big run, Dunsavage makes sure to “carb up” the night before with pasta. She avoids meats that can sit heavy in the stomach.

Be sure to drink water while running long distances and during recovery, Dunsavage said. She eats protein bars during the long runs to stay charged.

During the week, she eats balanced meals.


“I’m no expert, but I have done a few marathons,” Dunsavage said. “As far as your sneaks go, you should change them every 500 miles. The fit of your shoe is so important.”

She recommends researching footwear and talking with a trainer about finding the right fit.

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