It’s a Sun[ny]day here in NYC and I can barely move my legs because of my 11 mile training run to the George Washington Bridge yesterday. I am gearing up for the MORE/Fitness Women’s half marathon on April 3rd and praying that the weather cooperates, unlike last year’s 40 degrees and pouring rain.
Always wanted to run a half and don’t know where to start? Well, it’s time to move our clocks ahead and a great chance to move our feet with them. Here are my top 10 tips for gearing up for a new distance:
1. Just do it!
Sign up for the race (there’s no turning back now!)
2. Plan of attack
Mark your training runs down on a daily visible calendar. Use this great training calendar from Fitness Magazine to help you get started.
3. Get rockin!
Download some new tunes to get you motivated. My top picks right now include:
– Lady Gaga, Born this way
– S&M, Rihanna (sorry, Mom)
– Marry you, Bruno Mars
4. Big gulps, huh?
Start drinking more water to help keep you hydrated as you push your body to new limits.
You need to make sure you are getting enough sleep each night to give your muscles adequate time to repair themselves from that day’s training run but you also must make sure you schedule in your rest days where you take the day off from running. Many running injuries are a result of overtraining: too much intensity, too many miles, too soon. It’s important to go easy when adding mileage or intensity to your training.
A regular stretching routine can go a long way for injury prevention. I recently attended a “Yoga to the People” class in Midtown for only $5!
7. Here little piggy.
Be sure that your shoes aren’t worn out and that you have the right model for your feet and running style. Go to a specialty running shop where you can be properly fitted.
8. Carbs + protein = A dynamic duo
It’s important to increase the percentage of carbs in your diet from about 60 to 70 percent to ensure you’re giving your body enough fuel to enhance your workouts. Protein is also important to add to your post-workout meal because research has shown that the protein enables the carbs to move more quickly to the muscles. A good post-run meal is rice and chicken (heavier on the rice).
What to eat before a run? Whole grain toast with peanut butter and a banana for extra potassium!
9. Dress the part!
Stop by your favorite athletic apparel store and buy a new outfit for race day. It always gives me that extra pep in my step to show off my new gear. Make sure you do one training run in it to test it out and make sure there are no discomforts.
10. Game day!
You’ve put in the miles, got the gear, fueled your body: Now, it’s time to be proud and go after it!
Hope to see you out there on April 3rd!