Preparation tips given for Missoula Marathon

Missoula mom, Jennifer Pfeiffer prepares for Missoula Marathon.

MISSOULA, Mont. - As thousands prepare for the Missoula Marathon participants are encouraged to train for heat and the impact of pavement.

Missoula mom Jennifer Pfeiffer has participated in the Missoula Marathon and half marathon seven times.

"I'd like to beat my first time. I feel good. I feel confident. I think it's going to be a really good race. Training helps," says Pfeiffer.

Missoula Marathon director Tony Banovich says part of that training needs to include getting your body ready for July temperatures.

"I would spend some time on some noontime runs, maybe an evening run, something to climatize to that heat and get used to it," said Banovich.

Our Severe Weather Alert Team says highs could reach into the 80s during race time.

Experts recommend a lightweight hat and sunglasses to help your body stay cool.

Preparing for hard pavement may also be a change for many runners who enjoy Montana's endless trails.

"Those softer surfaces are great. They minimize your injuries, but being on the asphalt has a bit more impact and has some effect on your legs. You do want to spend some time on it, at least one run a week on the pavement -- maybe your long runs -- so that you get your body used to that change in surface," says Banovich.

Preparing for heat, impact and distance can feel daunting. That's why Pfeiffer says running with a friend, a group or training with a Run Wild Missoula running class is a big help.

"I would find a group of people, if you have never done it before, it's fun to meet new runners. I never feel worse after I run. It's kind of a meditation thing for me," said Pfeiffer.

The Missoula Marathon and half marathon get underway Sunday, July 9.

Enrollment slots are still available in both events.