1 Preparing the Mind Visualization- picture in your mind the runner you want to be. Picture yourself making a great training run. Affirmation- flood your mind with positive thoughts by talking to yourself every day. Tell yourself that you are a marathon runner. Our minds operate in the present so the more we tell ourselves something, even if it is not yet true, the faster our mind believe it. Also, put an affirmation, race brochure, or inspiring quote somewhere you will see it every day! Block the Negative thinking- Be aware of negative thoughts creeping into your mind.
Stop them in their tracks by telling yourself the opposite. If you catch yourself thinking you are tired during a run, tell yourself several times that you feel great and strong! Think about why you have set this monster goal for yourself and see yourself enjoying the benefits you expect to have once you accomplish your goal. Motivation- Building mental stamina is essential.
Staying motivation and developing the proper mindset is key to enjoying training and crossing the finish line! Goals- You must have the right goals and reasons for running in order to be successful. Finishing time goals is a good way to start.
II. Planning a Strategy
Wear the right gear- Buy a good pair of running shoes. These will be the most important piece of gear. There are sold at specialty running stores that help you get fitted. Nutrition- Carbohydrates provide the fuel runners need. During training 65% of your total calories should come from complex carbohydrates, 10% should come from protein, 25% should come from unsaturated fats.
Hydration- Consume 6 – 8 ounces of fluids every 20 minutes. During pre-training and marathon training this is of the upmost importance to help keep you going. Recovery- is an important part of training. You should not run every day. Your body needs to rest between runs so it can recover from one run to the next, getting stronger between each run. Avoiding Injury- Use the non-running days to rest and recover. Ice-down any soreness. Injuries often sneak up without warning. Doing all the right things will minimize your chances of injury.
I. Executing the Plan
Pre-training- Before beginning half marathon training you should be able to run for at least 30 minutes without stopping. Distance is not important right now. You just need to get your body used to running. Combinations of run/walks are great to use. It’s also a good idea at this point to go ahead and sign up for a half marathon! Training- Your mileage should gradually increase each week. Total weekly mileage should not increase by more than 10% from week to week. Completing a run of 10-12 miles about 3 weeks before the race will be enough to prepare you for the finish. Then taper off in the final weeks leading up to the half marathon to allow your body to recover from the training. Half Marathon Day- The big day! You will be full of adrenaline after leaving the starting line. Remember though, distance running is about endurance and pace is critical. Maintain pace to save everything you have left for your big finish!