The 'Beginner Series' - Race Training

Disclaimer : I have never trained for a race. Well, not really. I'd say the most training I did as a beginner was moving from a 5k distance to 10k. You may be thinking 'Eh? Why would it be harder to get from 5k to 10k than 10k to half marathon. It's all psychological folks. Once you've broken the mental barrier that you CAN DO THIS, it gets so much easier. 
Now that's all well and good if you're relatively fit and your goal is just to complete the distance regardless of time (I mean, after all, you could just stop and walk), but what training should you be doing if you want to complete a half marathon or more? 

1) Get yourself a pen and paper (or if you're a geek like me - excel spreadsheet). Plot down the days of the week across the top and week numbers down the side.

2) Give yourself 8-12 weeks minimum depending on your running experience and fitness level.

3) Plot in at least 2 rest days a week ; your body needs to recover. It's not big or clever to push yourself into an injury.

4) Implement a variety of sessions into your training plan ; distance runs, circuits and core.

5) When you're going for a 'regular' run vary your tempo. My lovely friend Andy made me a plan where he sets me different paces for different runs ; think race, tempo,interval, long run and easy run. Short and fast can be as valuable as a 10k run. I can always feel the difference in my pace after a circuits session.

6) Feed your body the good stuff. If you're not a regular runner and you're body isn't used to this level of exercise you're going to be knackered. Make sure you're filling up on good, high energy foods to keep you going. Making yourself sick isn't fun.

7) DON'T WORRY. If you miss a run, so what? If you don't have 8 weeks or you don't quite stick to your training plan, chill out. It's OK. Enjoy your run and enjoy your training otherwise whats the point?

There is a ton more detail I could give you. I could talk supplements, specific exercise routines and exact tempo times but it really doesn't have to be that scientific. Get your extra runs in, shake them up a bit and go to your race with the drive and willingness to get through and you'll be fine.
After all, its only running right? It cant be that hard.

If you missed the last post in The 'Beginner Series' check it out here.

Until next time . . .Take Heart x

**Thanks to my model and lovely best friend Marianna for being my model in the blog photo.** 

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