Thinking about running a race? Thinking about thinking about running a race?
Whether you have been running a while or you have only ran when being chased, there are great plans to help get you started.
Before college, all I did in the running arena was run a mile every day before cheerleading practice. At the time, I would have rather had my teeth knocked out than run a mile. Then college came along with all you can eat dining halls, partying, (I mean studying) and the infamous freshman 15 (or 20, what’s in a number?). From there, the whole rigmarole between diet, exercise and life began. I began running freshman year and have dabbled in it since. I have ran a few races and while I can say I might never (never say never, right?) run another marathon, I believe that a half marathon is a great distance for all levels of runners.
Running is a great source of joy and confidence for me. Nothing beats how I feel after a great run. Completing a race is such a rush and I encourage you to consider running races of any kind.
Having a training plan is a great way to keep track of your progress and stay motivated, no matter the distance you would like to run.
Here are some helpful resources from experienced, veteran runners to get you started on a training plan:
Hal Higdon, a very accomplished runner, has a great site with great resources on running all lengths of races for all levels. This site also provides helpful articles on other aspects of training such as stretching, diet, motivation, etc. I followed his novice plan to train for my first half marathon.
Jeff Galloway also has a site with similar training plans. He has training groups across the country. This site highlights many running injuries as well. We own Marathon: You Can Do It, by Jeff and it is a great resource.
The magazine, Runner’s World also provides fantastic content on all subjects of running. Their website is like a mecca for everything running.
Everyone is different when it comes to training and what works best. Whatever distance or training plan you pursue, I caution you to be careful of overtraining, as this can lead to overuse injuries and ultimately termination of training due to being burnt out or injuries that hinder one from running. Listen to your body, it knows best. Do your research. Be consistent, wear proper fitting shoes, take time to rest, eat foods for refueling your body and drink plenty of water all the time.
Disclaimer: I have a Masters Degree in Health and Exercise Science and I am ACSM Clinical Exercise Specialist Certified. However, always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any exercise program, especially if you are new to exercise.