I did something yesterday that I had previously thought would be impossible for me to do. I registered for my first half marathon!!!!
Crazy, right? A year ago, I would have been happy with simply crawling to 4 miles, but in 5 weeks, I will be a participant in the Bass Pro Cohick Half Marathon (and I will crawl to 13.1 miles).
How do you even survive a marathon is the first question I asked myself. Well, I reached out to a few long distance runners I know, and they gave me some pretty amazing advice. And I am here to pass that advice on to ANYONE who likes running, whether that may be a mile every two weeks, or 10 miles a day. A runner is a runner.
- I’ll repeat it for the ones in the back: STRETCH! When I am anticipating a run, I get so excited to jump in and begin that I don’t take the time to stretch all of my muscles beforehand. Running on cold muscles can cause numerous injuries. I have feet injuries quite often, so I’ve found this little fancy ball that helps stretch mine out before a run. You can find them in any athletic store for around $6.
Find a pre-run, mid-run, and post-run snack you will love.
- Running burns a lot of energy, so stocking up on carbs before a run is a must. My favorite pre-run snack is peanut butter toast with a banana on the side, to make sure I don’t have muscle cramps during the run. About half way through my long runs, I will stop and have a Blueberry Crisp Cliff Bar and water (STAY HYDRATED), and after runs I have another banana, almonds, and/or scrambled eggs. If these snacks don’t necessarily peak your interest , check out this link and find your favorites: https://www.runnersworld.com/snacks/25-great-snacks-for-runners/slide/10
Set everything out the night before.
- This will help a morning routine feel less rushed, and give you more time to mentally prepare for the race ahead. Also, depending on the weather, grab a cheapy sweatshirt from Goodwill to throw off to the side when you start to get warmed up in the race. You can go back and grab it after, but make sure it isn’t your most prized sweatshirt in case the cleaning crew happened to grab it already.
- The adrenaline starting the race is at an all-time high when the starting gun goes off, but don’t waste a ton of energy right off the bat. You will burn out about 1/3 of the way in. While training for race day, find a steady pace that feels like you could run forever and stay there. Once that feels comfortable, then you’ll be able to bump up the pace a bit in speed runs.
Lastly, have fun!
- Whether you are racing to set a personal record or to simply say you’ve done it, have fun while running. You may just be running among some of the best runners in the country (depending on what race you’re in). Plus, running a race comes with perks, such as t-shirts, car decals, extra snacks, and maybe even some ChapStick if you’re lucky!
Running doesn’t have to feel like a punishment, and don’t forget to say thank you to the bystanders calling you crazy.
Crazy is what keeps us going. 😉