Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Race Always Hurts.

In 2010, one of my best friends asked me if I wanted to participate in a mud run. This mud run was 3 miles and I'd never run 3 miles in my life! In fact, I felt like throwing up from running more than a few minutes. I did exercise often, but I was definitely not a runner.

That summer, I ran every day of the week with my mom, until we were able to run 4 miles. Over the next 7 years, I have run a couple 5Ks, a couple 10Ks, and 3 half marathons. I will never be a fast runner (in fact I am a s.l.o.w. runner), but I always finish the race.

I am now training for my 4th half marathon this summer! For us non-runners, training is SUPER important. I found out that not training well can really break me. Are you a novice runner or looking to train for your first run? Here are some tips that have REALLY helped me!

1. Using a training plan. I use Hal Higdon's training plan for novices. I found that I can adjust it to be 12 to 14 weeks long, so that I can be as prepared as possible. Be careful not to train too long though, or your body might get burned out.

2. Make sure you are strengthening your body... your legs are especially important but so is your core! Strengthening your muscles helps them to endure through all the torture (-; It's important to incorporate strengthening and stretching into your workouts. 

3. If you are running more than an hour, make sure you bring along water and some sort of supplement. I use this handheld water bottle (as long as there are places to refill along the way). I always use raisins as my supplement (I eat a handful every 20 minutes of a run longer than 1 hour). There are many supplements out there, but make sure you don't switch them up on the day of your race.

4. Find something to listen to that motivates you. For me, this is podcasts. I'm loving the follow-up to Serial, Undisclosed, or the Jamie Ivey podcasts.

5. Pay attention to the course! My first 1/2 marathon, I dragged two of my friends along. I was so excited to find a nice trail run... which turned out to be the worst mistake ever. This trail run was SO hilly that I thought I was going to keel over. I had been running flat courses for training, so I was not prepared at all. If you are doing a hilly run, make sure you train for it!

6. End your long runs with a recovery food! For me, this is often just a chocolate milk, but there are all kinds of post-workout recovery foods. 

What are your best tips for running a race? I'd love to hear!! 

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