Training for your first half
• By Rebecca Long Pyper •
It’s one thing to run a few mornings a week; it’s another thing to train for a 13.1-mile race.
But it’s definitely doable and can even be enjoyable if you’re ready to tackle your first half marathon the right way. Here are some tips for making the most of your training time before the race:
1. Follow a schedule and allow enough time to adequately train. Consider a site like halhigdon.com; the training guides here vary based on your running experience thus far and will have you ready for your race if you stick to the schedule. This will not only help with physical preparation but with mental too, as you’ll be more confident knowing you put in the necessary time to do your best come race day.
2. Be committed to extra time exercising. It takes many extra hours of running to train for a half, so make sure you are willing and able to dedicate the necessary time.
3. Remember to cross train. Experts suggest that once a week runners cross train; this will help prevent injuries and can add some novelty to the monotony of running, running, running every day. Cycling is a good option; so is swimming.
4. Get some good tunes. It’s easy to find great playlists on Pinterest. Search for ones that will pump you up or help increase your speed as these songs will be up-tempo enough to keep you energized. Because on a two-hour Saturday run you’ll want something to keep you going.
5. Listen to your body. If your knees or feet start hurting, pay attention. While some aches and pains might be the norm, they shouldn’t last. If they do, visit a running shop, where employees can recommend shoes specific to your needs as well as stretches or exercises to do pre- and post-running to help alleviate pain.
6. Beware of runner’s tummy. Sometimes when a person becomes overly active, the digestive system follows suit, which can lead to some pretty uncomfortable runs (no pun intended). And no one wants to stop mid-run for a mad dash into a gas-station restroom. Some runners find relief from laying off dairy products or high-fiber foods while training. Dehydration can also aggravate things, so make sure to drink enough water.
7. Enjoy eating more. One of the perks of running this much is getting (and needing) to eat more food. So enjoy it. And make sure to eat a healthy, ample dinner the night before the race; you’re body will need the calories in the morning.