Build Your Base For a Half-Marathon
Monday, 27 August 2012
From the August 2010 issue of Runner’s World
Get used to spending more time on your feet
The first four weeks of half-marathon training are about building a base, establishing a routine and getting accustomed to following a plan, says Brian Schepisi, RW’s running advisor and coach. Treat hard days – hill workouts and long runs – with respect. Take it easy the day before, eat and sleep well the night before, and rest or jog the day after.
The best hills are those that allow you to run at the pace you feel good at for the distance you want to run. Too steep and you can’t maintain pace or good form and you also risk injuring your calves or hamstrings. “Stairs are a good alternative if you live in flatsville or you can use the incline setting on a treadmill,” says Schepisi.
Experienced half-marathoners should do long runs at 45 to 75 seconds slower than half-marathon goal pace. Schepisi advises beginners to go as slowly as their body dictates and to add short walking breaks when needed. “Your goal is to make it to the end and finish strong with a smile!”
It’s okay to put off workouts if you’re feeling tired. “The most important thing is to recover,” says Schepisi. “If you’re tired on a workout day, there’s nothing wrong with moving it to another day or dropping it completely.”
DON’T GET CRAZY
“When you deviate from your plan, it’s not failure,” says Schepisi. Don’t get locked into circling a parking lot until your GPS device signal hits exactly 10 kilometres. “That extra three-tenths of a kilometre is just not going to make a difference,” he says.
Q How can I stay motivated when the training gets hard?
A Training should never be so hard that you reach a stage of not wanting to do it. If it is, you are following a plan that is not suited to your level of fitness. However, there are times when you simply don’t want to run. The excuses: “it’s too cold,’ “too wet,” “my iPod battery has died!” This is the time to lace up and just get out there. I guarantee you’ll feel much better once you get started. Having a group to run with can help but it’s important to practice self discipline with consistent training and a positive mental attitude. This is what will get you over the line.
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