Today I ran 8 miles with members of my half marathon team. We tried to come up with a team name after our run but the blood flow that normally tapped into our creative brains was busy healing our limbs so we came up with nothing.
Sara saw an instagram of our team and asked me to post some tips.
This is the 3rd half I have trained for and here is what I have learned along the way:
~Do Not Overtrain. My first I ran at least 4 times a week as per a schedule I probably found online. Now I only run 3 times a week.
~Music Helps. When I trained for my second I ran a lot faster and I think it was partly because I chose music that inspired a faster pace.
A few tracks that always work:
I suggest making a playlist and trying it out--cutting out songs that did NOT work to get your feet moving faster. I have found there is a bit of a pavlovian effect--I hear certain songs now and it reminds my body to move.
~Long Runs are more fun with friends. I did most of my long runs in the first training with friends. It made it much better because when I wanted to quit, I couldn't!
~Change Route. To avoid boredom, change up your route.
~Keep your Route the same. To get a sense of how long a mile is, do the same route over and over so that your body gets used to how long it take to get from one landmark to another.
~Hydrate. I always run with water, usually spiked with nuun. Also, I choose gatorade on the course most of the time. Being thirsty is worse than being hungry.
~After 8 miles, consider fueling. I prefer Clif Blocs or jelly belly sports beans. I like a bagel or toast before and a donut and chocolate milk after.
~Speed challenge. On shorter runs I like to run a bit faster or increase the speed on the treadmill gradually during maybe the last half or full mile to push a bit.
~Hills are your friend. A friend taught me to use my arms and pull like I was holding a rope walking up a steep mountain and this imagery helps a lot.
~Mental! It's all mental. Wanting to quit is usually never about your physical body--talk yourself out of it, or decide to think about something or run through a difficulty.
~Slow Down. If you have NEVER run before....my friend Sam gave me good advice. Slow it down. Sometimes you jog faster than you walk when you are just getting started. This will help you avoid cramps and frustration and you will naturally speed up and enjoy running.
~Give yourself a few miles to ease into your run. It takes that long---especially when you are old like me.
Hope that helps! Enjoy your run!