Whether you’re a first-time participant or a more experienced runner, keep these tips in mind as you train for your next big event.
Tip 1: Be able to run a 5K
To run a half marathon, you should be comfortably able to run 5 km. A half marathon is not usually a beginner event at a whopping 21.6 km — but the good news is you can start training today to enhance your endurance.
Tip 2: Invest in a good pair of running shoes
The best investment is your shoes. Your gym shoes are for the gym and running shoes are for running. You should expect to spend some extra money on this piece of equipment.
Go to a specialized running store and talk to a professional. Do not shop at the mall and buy the prettiest color, or the same pair that your friend has. Every runner is different: we have to factor in our foot size, weight, running style and gait. A professional will look at all these factors and help you find the right shoe for you.
Tip 3: Don’t forget to fuel up!
Eat before your run, during your run, and after your run!
For breakfast, high carbohydrates for energy are needed; think whole grain toast, oatmeal, a wrap with peanut butter and banana or a smoothie.
During a run (longer than an hour) try a sports gel, sports chews, a Nutrigrain bar or Fig Newtons. Choose something easy to ingest that’s high in carbs.
At the end of your run, you need protein to repair your muscles. Opt for an egg, cheese, a peanut butter sandwich, a protein bar or shake or chocolate milk.
Tip 4: Rest is best
Take a full rest day every week. That means no exercise! Walk the dog or go for a leisurely stroll, but that’s it — your body needs a day to recover from training. This is when it mends itself and gets stronger.
It is very easy to become “addicted” to running, but use caution. This can lead to over-training resulting in injury.
Tip 5: Find a buddy
Find a running partner or join a training clinic, especially if you’re new to running or to distance running. Having a friend or a group to meet up with makes you go!
The best way to get to know someone is to run with them; long miles on the road are spent talking about anything and everything, plus, it gives you something to look forward to!