You probably already know that running is great way to tone your pins, relieve stress, rev up your sex drive and improve your overall fitness. Not to mention, the mood-boosting benefits of runner’s high (yes, it’s a real thing). But if that’s not enough motivation for you to hit the pavement (we don’t blame you), how about the allure of a challenge? To be exact, a half marathon.
In the lead up to the Nike+ Run Club (NRC) Women’s Half Marathon Sydney, which our writer (and novice runner), Georgia Pretty has been eagerly prepping for, we spoke to Nike+ Training Club Trainer, Bec Wilcock who’s shared her expert tips on the steps needed to take the leap from running for the bus to crossing a 21km finish line.
Read on for Bec’s top 5 tips on how to go from a runner to a half marathoner.
Stick to a structured training program
I suggest running 3-4 times per week. Including one long run, tempo run and a speed and/or hill session.
Just be sure not to over-train in the last week leading into the race. Instead, it’s important to taper off. Try a light training week leading into the race and have two days off pre-race.
Fuel your body with a well-balanced diet
I like to nourish my body with a well-balanced diet and keep track of my energy in and energy out to ensure that my body doesn’t go into deficit. I do this by keeping an eye on my daily calorie intake and recording calories burnt. This is so I have enough energy to stick to my training program.
A typical day on my plate:
Morning wake up 4:30am: Hot water with lemon, women’s multivitamin, fish oil, magnesium, and probiotic.
- 6am: Coffee
- Breakfast 8am: Avocado, scramble eggs, and spinach with one slice of gluten free toast.
- Snack: Punnet of blueberries
- Lunch: Chicken Salad
- Snack: Green juice or smoothie with plant protein (depending on my sessions that day)
- Dinner: Salmon with delicious greens and sweet potato
- Night: Lemon and green tea
- Tell your friends and family about the run.
- Give yourself positive reinforcement every km, and envision the feeling of crossing the finish line and ticking off another great goal.
- Music, music, music! I’m currently loving Rhianna: Work, Drake: One Dance, and Ayokay: Kings of Summer.
Keep track of your training, diet and water intake
Download the Nike+ running app so you can record your runs and note your progress. This is a great motivator to knock out the km’s because km’s never lie and hard work always pays off. It is also important to monitor how certain foods or your water intake can affect your run such as increasing your chances of having a stitch, which takes me to my next point…
Listen to your body, rest and recover
This is so important. Whether you experience a stitch or just need rest, listen to your body. If you do experience a stitch in the race, try to expand you rib cage and take deep breathes.
When it comes to rest day, my foam-roller is my best friend! However, if you’re not a fan of the foam roller you can get a massage to reward yourself for all your hard training or visit hot and cold pools for muscle recovery.