Sunday, May 25, 2014

How to Prepare For Your First Half Marathon


Have you decided to run a half marathon? The following suggestions will help you adequately prepare for the big race day.

Give yourself enough time to train. Take into account your starting fitness level (are you truly a novice, or have you run a bit before?) as you plan. Find a reasonable training plan and then tack on an extra week or more to allow room for sickness or injury. A reasonable training program will consist of the following: one long run day, several short run days, a cross training day or two, and at least one rest day per week. Take your time building the distances for those long runs.

Buy the right equipment. Make sure you have running clothing that fits right and wicks away sweat, plus good running shoes, and anti-chafing balm. You need access to water throughout your runs, so buy a camelback or a running belt that holds bottles of water. You should also have some form of self defense with you, such as mace.

You should plan on running the full thirteen miles at least once before the race. Make sure you leave room to have an easy week before the race, not running the couple days before the actual race. It's advisable to eat a lot of high carbohydrate meals in the few days just before the race.

When race day comes, be sure to get lots of sleep and to eat a small breakfast, like a muffin. A lot of runners like to eat a power bar just before the race, and everyone benefits from a couple energy gels midrace. If you usually drink powerade during your workouts, you can do so during the race; otherwise, stick to water.

When you've crossed the finish line, drink water immediately. If you feel even a little bit of stomach upset, drink an energy drink but don't eat yet. It's wise to stretch out your muscles and just relax, enjoying your great acheivement as you plan your next race.

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