Since I’m in the thick of training for a half marathon near the end of September, I thought it would be fitting to write a post about what I’m doing to prepare myself for race day.
Since having Odin, I’ve been hesitant to register for a race, as I was afraid of race day rolling around and having that one day be the day where running is a struggle. Prepping for a half marathon takes some work – unless you’re my husband, who ran a half marathon with me a few years ago without doing any training, and had no issues finishing the race (jerk 😉 I still love him, so it’s ok!). Everyone trains for these types of races differently for a number of reasons. I am the furthest from being a “natural runner”, seeing as I was told I was no longer going to be able to run way back when I was 12 and suffered some pretty bad knee injuries. This means that I need to be very careful when training for long distance races, because if I don’t put in the kilometers and really listen to my body, I’m going to either get hurt or not be in top performance mode come race day.
I have more than a handful of half marathons under my belt, and am using the things that I learned from training for those races to guide my training for the Canadian Army Run. Here are a few of the key things I’m integrating into my training to get the most out of it:
- Never skipping long runs – getting one long run in each week is crucial. For me, I also like to fit in a 25km run about a month before race day. I find that it makes a 21.1km run not seem as long 🙂
- Listening to my body – if I feel an ache or a pain, or am simply having a really bad run, I will stop and walk, try running again after a few minutes, and if those feeling persist, I will stop. There’s not point pushing yourself at the risk of an injury.
- Speed and hill work – the course I’m running isn’t overly hilly, but there are a few hills, so I try different routes outside that have hills, or play with the incline on my treadmill to prepare myself. I have also slacked on speed training in the past, and have incorporated sprints and intervals into one of my running sessions each week.
- Taking care of myself – I religiously go to a massage therapist. My muscles need it.
- Having the right gear – I’m more passionate about my running gear than any other articles of clothing or pair of shoes I own. I put in a lot of kilometers so I need a lot of running shoes. I also wear different ones for running outside and running on my treadmill. Invest in a good shoe. Trust me. I also have fallen in love with the running gear from Oiselle. This company seriously makes the best running clothes I’ve ever worn. Every sports bra and tank top I’ve purchased have been of the highest quality, the tanks don’t shift or bunch up (I have a short torso) and their tops are very flattering. I make sure my Garmin is ready to go for my longer runs so I can track my stats and make sure I’m running certain paces for different types of runs. I’ve also purchased Nuun tabs to help with better hydration (drinking a ton of water is also key!).
- Watching what I eat – When I was pregnant, I overhauled my diet. If you keep putting junk in, you can expect junk runs. I’m not one to shy away from the dessert table at all, but paying attention to what you eat is important when fueling your body to train for long distance races. Quest bars have been a heavenly gift for coping with my sweet tooth 🙂
And there you have it. What are some of the things you do to train for long runs? Any tips to share? Please feel free to leave a comment 🙂