Half is Much!
I think the best part of life is challenging ourselves to that point where we can’t go any further. There’s no greater feeling then when you cross a finish line after months of training, it changes you. Day after day, I’m thinking how can I get that feeling back? When’s my next opportunity going to be to earn that back?
For those of you who know me, I am an avid runner and always training for an endurance event. It simply keeps me motivated to go out year after year and test the limits. To not only experience a new race, but to attempt to beat a personal record. I really believe that if there weren’t all these opportunities to push myself, I wouldn’t stick to an exercise program.
What’s intriguing is that I’m not the only one finding this motivation. It happens that many people are starting to turn to training later in their life. In 2009, Marathonguide.com ran statistics on the average age of a marathoner, guess what the average is? 40.5 years old for men (average finish time 4:30) and 39 years old for women (average finish time of 5 hours). Incredible! I’ve also found that guests around the Hilton Head Health walls are starting to turn to these events for a little motivation. Recently a group of past guests went down to Disney World and torched some phenomenal finishes at the annual half marathon. They trained, conquered, and without had this unbelievable experience previously mentioned.
With that said, half is MUCH! What I mean by this is that you don’t have to go after a marathon to earn this feeling. Training for any distance event is quite an accomplishment and a driving motivator. Due to recent inquiries, I wanted to touch on the TOP 5 fundamentals when training for your FIRST Half Marathon and provide you with a custom H3 beginner half marathon runner and walker plan.
#1 Go into the race to finish – The goal of finishing your first Half Marathon is the best place to start. When you run or walk your first half marathon at a comfortable pace you’ll feel proud and eager to run future races.
#2 Train with a purpose – Following a schedule can become monotonous. If you’re a runner, add what’s called a “Tempo Run” into the mix simulating the pace you expect told hold during the half. Warm Up 10 minutes of easy jogging – 20 minutes race pace – 10 minutes easy jogging. Walkers increase your run/walk ratios, if you’re running 2 minutes walking 1 add 30 seconds to that run on a few days of training. By having a purpose for each workout you’ll increase your speed and interest.
#3 Don’t play catch up – Unexpected things come up during training, let it slide. Never try to length long runs or cram harder workouts back to back days. This is very important to remember especially that last month of training!
#4 Throw In a Test – Schedule a 5K or 10K during training to simulate race conditions this way going into the big day you’ll be familiar with what goes on and comfortable with what’s about to go down. This will also help with pacing and your adrenaline rush control as the gun sounds.
#5 Run THE Mile – Focus on that single mile, avoid thinking about how far you have to go because it’s really far away! When you get to that final 3.1 miles say to yourself “Just a 5K left, no big.”
BOTTOM LINE – Justify training to YOU and ONLY YOU. We make sacrifices during training, but all this training leads to setting goals, conquering fear, overcoming obstacles, and is an excellent warm up for life challenges that lay ahead.