I hope you had a fresh start this morning, because if you guys are reading this post then you have set up a goal in your mind and that is half the Job done already.
You need to keep in mind that the challenge you have in your mind is not easy coming but again, who wants easy, It is boring!
“If you want to win the prize, you have to pay its price”.Now do remember that the prize you will get for all the efforts you will put in, will be lot more valuable than a box of chocolates.
I hope you feel motivated already!
In this post I will be sharing 7 things you need to keep in mind to run a half Marathon.
1. Setting your Goal right :-
The most important factor which will help you to achieve your goal is how you have set your goal and the time you have given yourself to prepare for the half marathon. My personal suggestion is to give your self 2-3 months to train before your first half marathon.
Now, this further depends upon number of factors like.
- Which age category you belong to?
- Do you have a athletic body or you want to have one?
- What is your Job schedule like?
- How much time you can devote in a week?
- Have you participated in sports or games in school or college time?
- How good are your eating habits?
- What is your Body mass index?
I belong to age category of 25-30 and I am a fitness enthusiast. I hit Gym 4 days a week, ride my bike frequently for cardio. I play sports and games like cricket, football and table tennis. It took to 2 months of training before I participated in my first half marathon.
A friend of mine is a professional cyclist and state Badminton player, belongs to age category 30-35 devoted 40 days to training before his first half marathon.
My Aunt, belongs to an age category of 40-45 and has not done physical activities for last 5 years trained for 4 months with active diet plan to run her first half marathon. Lost 9 kilos in the course as well!
See, there is everything for everyone but you just have to be dedicated and patient. What we need is progress,no matter how slow it is.
2. Running with right Gears :-
The goal is set, now it is time to set your first foot right, but a comfortable foot is better than a uncomfortable one. So, it is very important to have good running gears. A best friend runner can have is his/her shoes. So, make sure to visit the nearest to home sports shop and buy a light and comfortable shoes. Experts at the store give you there recommendations basis on your needs.
Apart for a good shoes, it is very important to buy a pair of performance socks.A good pair of performance socks helps to absorb impact, wick away moisture and reduce the friction that can cause blisters.
3.Mental training :-
Now people would say it is entirely a legs job to run. They would tell you to work on your calf muscles, work on your hamstring, your quads and of course your core and yes! they are right. It is important to own a good pair of legs if you want to run but your brain have be in sync with your legs.
Running a marathon is not just about how strong your legs are but also about how mentally prepared you are when the day arrives. It has been observed that after a period of time when the legs are tired and you are in a state of fatigue, it is only how mentally strong you are would decide if you will be able to achieve your goal or not.
When your legs start paining with every foot you put down then only your mental health will decide the next course of action. So make sure to relax yourself and take proper rest and stay confident at every point of your training and trust me, “You can do it”.
4. Time to start training :-
The goal is all set, money is spent on a good shoes and a pair of socks and you have made up your mind to run a half marathon.Then it is time to start with your training.
Now, as I have mentioned earlier, you have to give your body 2-3 months to prepare for a half marathon. The key to successful training is consistently putting in enough weekly mileage to get your body accustomed to running for long periods of time.
It is suggested to run 3 days a week while preparing for a half marathon. Yes, you have heard it right!. You do not have to run every day in a week. 3 days of running per week for 3 months is good enough to prepare for a half marathon.
Then what are we going to do for rest of the week. Are we planning to rest for 4 days. And the Answer is NO.
While it is important to run and improve our pace,it is equally important to build a strong core. So, we will be devoting 20 minutes a day for 2 days to train our core muscles with very basis exercises like Push ups, Squats, Abs crunch and plank with 5 minutes of stretching exercises . Trust me, no fancy exercises are required.
Do keep in mind that you should not focus on the pace a much but your prime focus should be completing your 21 km’s run. Most half marathons have a cut off time of 3 hours, which means that even with a pace of 8 min/km you will be able to achieve your goal.
While the course of your training do make sure to install a running application in your mobile phone or buy a timer watch to check the progress of your run. “A less progress everyday is better than no progress at all”.
5. Healthy Habits :-
Since, you have started to think healthy, you need to start eating and drinking healthy. So, a big no to drinking alcohol, smoking a cigarette, Eating junk food if you are planning to do this the right way.Studies have proved that Runners who smoke can improve their performance with training, but not as effectively as non-smoking runners.
Also, when you come from a long run, you feel a lot hungry and tend to eat anything which is available at that point of time. So, I suggest you to carry diet bars or a protein shake along. Also, you need to minimize the intake of sweets and should consume required daily carbs from food like Oats,rice, banana, porridge and brown bread.
You can always reach out to me at email@example.com in case you want my help to prepare a diet plan for you basis on your height, weight and lifestyle.
6. Recovery :-
Whenever a muscle is pushed beyond its limit, it breaks and demands recovery so that it can be ready for the next challenge you will be putting it through. So, you have to give your body proper rest and nutrient. A minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep with healthy diet is needed for its recovery.
Also, it is suggested to massage your legs 2 times a week for the recovery and strength of the muscle. A 15 minutes message will also relax your body and help you getting a sound sleep.
7. The D-Day :-
After 3 months of training, cutting down your sugar, probably loosing 4-5 kg’s of weight, watching your friends eating pizza’s while you have ordered a salad for your self. Here comes the day you were waiting for.
Make sure to give your body 2 days of rest before your big day, do not go to the marathon empty stomach so eat a banana 1 hour prior or have oats or porridge 2 hours prior to the run, stay hydrated through out the run, stay with the strategy you have build over a period of 3 months, do not try to push very hard to match up with someone else and most importantly Enjoy the Run.
I hope this post will help you achieve your target and do comment about it in the comment section below.