John's race tips
March 05, 2008
John is giving runners tips every week on how best to prepare.
1) Make sure that you have trainers that are correct for YOU! Everybody is different and running long distances in trainers that are not suited to you will cause lots of problems and make it harder for you to complete the half marathon.
2) The most important training run for the half marathon is the long slow run. It is important to build endurance in the leg muscles and this is achieved by increasing the amount of time "on your feet". The speed is not important. If you can run/walk for the length of time in which you hope to complete the half marathon, then your legs will be able to cope much better on the day of the half marathon.
3) Running can seem so much easier if you find yourself a training partner or train with a running group. Being able to hold a conversation as you are running ensures that you are not running too fast during your long runs. Talking will also provide a distraction from thinking about how hard the running is and the miles will seem to pass much quicker.
4) When you have finished your run, before you sit down, you should stretch your legs out. Maintaining flexibility will reduce the chance of injuries and will help to prevent the soreness in your legs which can often be felt two days after a hard work out.
5) A third tip would be a reminder to make sure that people have entered the race. It's easy to get caught up in all the training and forget to enter the race and then find that there are no places left in the race.
6) Never run while injured or ill, even if you are following a schedule which you don't want to deviate from. Running in these situations will do nothing to improve your fitness, while resting will help the body to recover. Also, don’t try and make up for missed sessions as this will be counter productive and will not help improve your fitness either. If you have to miss sessions, just write them off, even if that means lowering your sights a bit for the half marathon.
7) It is important to stay well hydrated when running, especially on the longer runs. A lot of fluid can be lost through sweating and lead to dehydration, which in turn leads to decreased performance. Always carry some drink on the long runs and drink after running as well. It is also a good idea to eat shortly after long runs to replenish glycogen levels as soon as possible.