Training for a half or full marathon takes time. The amount of time you put in will greatly improve your finishing time. However, what you do besides running throughout your training can either help or hinder your race-day performance. Here are a few things to remember as you get ready to train for your race:
- Finding the right shoes: Finding the right shoes can really reduce your chance for an injury. There are so many different kinds: minimalist, zero-drop, neutral and stability, that you need a shoe degree to figure it out. Find a running specific shoe store in your area to help you find the right shoe for you.
- Easy running: Easy running reduces the impact on your body and enables you to log more miles without injury. Speed work, hills and tempo runs are still a valuable part of your plan. However, time on your feet at an easy pace better prepares you for the distance you are training for.
- Strength training: Running is a repetitive motion that stresses the body in one direction – forward. If the body only goes in one direction, stabilizing muscles will shut off, causing the body to be imbalanced. A good strength training program that activates the hips, glutes and core in multiple directions will help your body stay balanced and injury free during training and get you to the start line healthy.
- Being flexible: Sometimes life or nature gets in the way of training and we need to adjust our training plan. That is okay. Everyone misses a run or two when training. In fact, sometimes a few extra rest days increase your chances of getting to the start line healthier. Remember, this is a journey, not a sprint. Do not become a slave to your plan.
- Sleep: Sleep is an essential proponent to your training plan as it does many good things for your body: helps repair muscles, resets your hunger and restores your brain. Research has shown that the less hours of sleep per night you get, the greater chance you will sustain an injury. Try to aim for seven hours of sleep a night. As the mileage goes up, you may need more sleep to help your body recover.
Follow these simple ideas with your training so you can enjoy the journey of training for your race.