Last week, I started a new series called journey to a half marathon, which you can find the first part here. This week, I will be talking about increasing your mileage, importance of stretching, strength training and fueling.
5. Increasing your mileage
- At this point in your training, you should slowly be adding on your miles or kms (for those Canadians reading) to each of your long runs.
- The common rule is that you should only increase your mileage in increments of 10%. This is to help prevent injuries from increasing your distance too fast and too soon.
- In order to keep your body in top shop to handle the increasing distances, it is important to stretch before and after each run.
- Stretching helps to prevent injuries and also helps improve flexibility, which helps you become a more efficient runner.
- Using this link will take you to the Runner’s World stretching page, where it will provide you with many different stretches.
- Another form of stretching is to use a foam roller, which helps to roll or massage sore muscles especially after a long run.
- Foam rollers can be found in different densities, lengths, etc
- They can be found at your local running store or on-line
7. Strength training
- I know that while I was training for my half marathons last year, I was terrible at fitting in strength training. This was not a good thing for me!
- Strength training is important for runners because it helps you become a stronger runner and helps to prevent injuries.
- Strength training that you could do could range from a Jillian Michael’s video to a short at home weight circuit to a P90X video. It doesn’t have to take a long time and you will not regret it.
- As you start to increase your distance, it is important to figure out what works for yourself in terms of fueling. What works for one runner may not work for another.
- If you are going to be running for over one hour, it is important that you bring some form of fuel with you. It could be anything from sport beans to a Gu to a pb& j sandwich.
- It is also important to take in electrolytes if your run will be over an hour. This could be water, Gaterade, Powerade, Nuun, etc.
- Before you set out on your weekly long run, ensure that you have eaten enough calories to fuel you through your run. I am personally a fan of Cheerios or granola bars.
- Many runners love the combination of a bagel, peanut butter and a banana, but running and peanut butter do not go well together for myself.
- Again, figure out what works for you as everyone is different.
- After you have completed your long run, it is important that you re-fuel your body within 20 minutes.
- A popular choice is chocolate milk, which I personally love!
- Other choices could include: Recoverite, bananas, bagels, bread, rice, fruit
Next week: other important tips for new runners