If you are planning your first half marathon this year (I know there are several of you who are coming to Palma who have never done one before) then it’s time to start thinking about your preparation.
First of all: YOU CAN DO IT!
The key is finding a balance between doing enough training so that you feel confident, fit and healthy on the day but not so much that you feel tired or worse injured!
Here are my top 5 tips of what you should be doing now in order to get yourself ready:
Get used to running 3 times per week. Over the next few weeks try and get used to running at least 3 times per week with each run at least 30 minutes. Once you have the hang of that build up one of the runs to around one hour. SE Fitness half marathon training starts on 1st September with 7 miles so you can make that your first goal. Longer runs should be at a slow comfortable, conversational pace and run outside! Unless you’re planning a treadmill half marathon it just does not have the same challenges!
Get yourself a half marathon training plan. There are any number of training plans available for you to look at online you can find ours at www.sefitness.com. The important thing is to find a plan that you feel confident you can stick to. A good plan should include a long run which is crucial for your confidence, cross training which allows you to work on your strength / cardio without the impact and rest! I guarantee that life will get in the way of your plan in some way but having one ready will make you feel more confident and in control of what you are setting out to achieve.
Sort out your gear. You are going to be putting in a lot of miles so most importantly make sure your trainers are up to the job. You don’t want new ones for race day! Training runs are the opportunity to test all your gear. Not just trainers check everything including top, bra and socks! You don’t want unexpected blisters or painful rubbing on race day. Those of us doing Palma now is the time to test our warm weather gear as we are likely to be training in cooler climes. 20% off at Sutton Runner for SE Fitness from 3rd -8th September. The perfect opportunity to kit yourself out.
Sort out your fuel. More miles means more fuel and it’s worth getting right or you will just find yourself becoming increasingly tired and grumpy! Try to generally eat well during your training plenty of fresh fruit and veg and good hydration. Again use your training runs to practise your food for race day. Find a breakfast that works for you with slow release carbohydrates such as oats. Try to take on protein within one hour of a run as this will help repair your muscles. Many of us find it easier to face protein in liquid form eg a smoothie or yoghurt.
Listen to your body. We need to build up mileage gradually to avoid the risk of injury. This is where the rest days are so important too. SE Fitness long runs generally increase by 1-2 miles per week. As long as you are running three times per week this will be well within the recommended guidelines for increasing mileage. A little muscle soreness is to be expected with pushing your body further. Expect a couple of days to recover. If you are still sore on day three then rest again, still sore on day four or five you may need to get it checked out. Better to arrive at the start slightly less fit but uninjured than not get there at all!
You are taking on a fantastic challenge and I know you can do it. I look forward to coming on this journey with you.