Are you a person who likes a challenge or maybe someone who is looking to improve their health? Quite possibly you are both, and you’ve decided to put this to the test by taking part in a half marathon training program with the goal of completing your first 13.1 mile race. But first, before jumping head long into the program, let’s take a look at some essential tips for any new half marathon beginner. The results will be a safer and more comfortable training program.
The first thing to consider before embarking on your half marathon training is your general physical fitness. Don’t jump straight into the training without building up to it slowly. This is done by slowly increasing the miles run in each training session from only a few to the full distance over a time period of at least 2-3 months. You should aim to train a couple of times a week with your total weekly running distance being at least 12 miles.
Before each half marathon training session, it is important to first do warm-up and stretching exercises. These will help to get the blood flowing, loosen up your joints, and to raise your body temperate. This will lesson the chances of any injury and post-training pains. You might be surprised to know that these will also lessen the chances of any internal organ injury. The emphasis of these exercises should be on your spine down to your ankles, so it’s essential to follow the correct warm-up program. These simple exercises need to only be done for between 5-15 minutes before any half marathon training session begins, but the results will leave you pain-free and free of injury.
Choose Your Equipment Wisely
Now, let’s move on to the correct clothing. Probably the most important item is the shoes. Make sure the shoes fit comfortably and correspond correctly to your gait cycle. A shoe shop sales assistant will be able to help you with this. The next item of clothing is your socks. It’s best to void cotton socks because they have the disadvantage of holding in moisture. The result of this is sweating which can then lead to blisters.
Once your feet are taken care of, you need to choose the correct running shorts and shirts. Again, avoid cotton if you can because these will hold in the moisture. Ideally, you want clothes which will allow the air to circulate and allow you to breath. To get the best results, you should choose a brand name shirt instead of the regular cheaper ones.
For girls, having the correct jogging bra is important, especially if you are a full B cup or over. Make sure you choose the bra carefully because you want one that works well as well as allowing you to breathe.
You Are What You Eat
Finally, the last important factor we must look at before you begin your half marathon training is having the correct nutrition. What you need to be eating is more carbohydrates, and I don’t mean just from sweets or soft drinks. You need to be eating more fruit, vegetables and pasta, and as you increase the distances you run, the more you must increase your carbohydrate intake. One important point is if you are dieting, to be sure you are following a diet which isn’t removing these necessary carbohydrates.
Focus on Hydration
You liquid intake is also extremely important, and this is true before you embark on your training as well as while you are doing it. The adequate amount of liquid before starting is half a liter, and while training continue to drink but not over doing it. If the weather is hot, then you’ll need to drink more. Also, before beginning your half marathon training, be careful to not drink too much caffeine or alcohol. These can both cause you to dehydrate more. Don’t worry about protein drinks, these are best taken after the training has ended and will help in muscle rejuvenation.
By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to begin your half marathon training with peace of mind knowing that you’ll be comfortable and injury free.