If you didn't know, this year I decided to finally work on my goal of running a half marathon and forced myself to sign up for one therefore I would actually train. I actually got my baby sister involved as well so together we will run our first half in exactly 2 MONTHS! To say it has been a journey is an understatement. I also have moved, been in a wedding, and tried to get my life back to a normal schedule all with NC Summer heat.
Here are some tips I have gathered through the interwebs/talking to people that have run half and full marathons and some of my own experience:
-find a training plan and stick to it. I found a running plan and love that the week day runs are on nights that I do not have prior commitments. I run on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturday and my long runs are on Sundays. You can search for lots of plans on Pinterest but remember to be realistic. I am not a big runner so the 16-week plan fit the best for me. I actually found my plan on Runkeeper! Your half marathon race might even have a suggestion on running plans.
-get a running buddy or someone to keep you accountable. Having my baby sister also run with me is a huge help. We actually are on the same training plan and although she is two hours away from me we text each other about our runs to hold one another accountable. Also, both being on Runkeeper we can see how each of us is doing! If you don't have a sibling find a running group or club. You can check out local sport stores to see if they have groups or even your local gym can be a resource of people. I know here in the Triangle Fleet Feet stores have groups as well as the Jeff Galloway running group. My roommate has also been a great motivator and buddy who will go on runs with me at night!
-don't beat yourself up. It is okay to take a few days off. While it is best to be consistent if you have to miss a run or only run two miles instead of the planned four, it is okay. I view my first half as an accomplishment to just finish so while there is a time I would like to be under the experience is my goal. Any and all effort is good in my book!
-cute workout clothes are important. Anyway to motivate you to get out the door is important. Why not have neon sneakers that make you smile? I might also be loving a Nike tank that is pink with hot pink polka dots? There are so many cute options for every price point so check out places like Target, T.J. Maxx, Old Navy, Dick's Sporting Goods, as well as Lululemon and Athleta.
-half the battle is getting to the gym. I personally pack my bag the night before and when I leave for work I toss it in my car. There are no excuses if I have all of my stuff considering I pass by my gym on my drive home to my apartment. If you have everything you need and it is a day to run you just have to do it. You never regret a workout.
-listen to your body. Rest days are so important in training and remembering to stretch and ice before and after runs is just as important as the run itself. I can have shin pain even with good shoes and inserts so the night before long runs I grab some bags of frozen peas and ice my shins while watching TV. It helps so much especially since my shin pain mainly comes from treadmill running. Also, incorporating some yoga helps to keep everything nice and loose for a great run. Here are some great moves I like to use:
Pinterest has lots of great moves or check out a yoga class on your rest days.
-it is okay to have a dance party on the treadmill. I love listening to music while I run and my spotify playlist is always gaining new songs so some times I am jamming along with crazy dance moves while I run and that is ok. I also might have been singing along to Tangled and the Little Mermaid this Sunday thanks to ABC Family I was motivated to keep pushing on so I could get to Poor Unfortunate Souls. I ran my longest distance ever 8 miles!
What are some of your tips for running? Any favorite songs to workout to?