Friday, 22 January 2016

Half Marathon Training Tips - Some Finishing Touches.

As we approach the Cambridge Half Marathon the team at Progress have some tips to help you with your training.

The half marathon is an endurance race therefore it is really important that you do increase your mileage and length of your ‘long run’. If you are too busy and fall behind your schedule do not do double. Instead catch up slowly and ‘Listen to your body’.

Here are some tips to help you with your final stages of your training.

Finish each session with stretches of all major muscle groups. This allows the muscles that have been worked to return to their normal length

Run relaxed. The more relaxed you are the easier it is to run. Try to self-monitor how your body feels. Try to recognise signs of tension and let it go. Breathe slowly. Hold your shoulders low. Loosen your hands allow your arms to swing in the rhythm of your running. Smile it will help to relax your facial muscles.

Rest is essential for recovery. Schedule one day a week when you do no aerobic exercise. This will allow your body to adapt to the increased training load and help to prevent injury. Ideally you should aim for 6-8 hrs sleep a night. Try to schedule your training so that you cut down your training as the race day approaches.

Decide what clothes and shoes you want to race in. This allows you to find out if your clothes rub or if your shoes will cause any problems. Socks are very important so make sure they fit properly and have been washed this will help to prevent blisters on race day.

Be consistent. Learn to run with good style. Practice running drills this will help to develop running economy so less energy is used when you run.

Ensure adequate nutrition and hydration. It is important to replenish water and electrolytes during and following exercise to minimise dehydration, stabilise blood volumes and avoid muscle cramps. After you exercise eat some carbohydrates to replenish your glycogen (energy) stores. Protein will also help to repair any tissue damage. Ideal is a milkshake.

Race Day Food .Experiment what you can eat before your long run. Find out what works for you and how long before running you can eat something. Practice exactly what you eat on race day to avoid any abdominal discomfort.

Plan your Race. Be realistic on race day you will have adrenaline racing around your body so it is very easy to start too fast. Practice in your training what pace you can run easily at. It is easier to start slower and build up. Familiarise yourself with the course. It is a good idea to run some of the course in a routine weekly run.

Good luck in your training and race from all of us at Progress.