Amongst the many lofty fitness goals that News Year Resolution-ers set for themselves year after year, “running a marathon” is often at the top of the list.
However, the fact remains that marathons can be incredibly demanding in terms of stress and time commitment. Plus, they are rather unforgiving if you don’t follow a proper training program by the letter.
Why not meet such a goal half-way (literally) rather than needlessly burning yourself out?
After all, preparing for a half marathon doesn’t eat up all of your free time. Meanwhile, half marathons also represent a race that’s friendlier to runners who can’t realistically can’t complete a full 26.2 miles by the end of the year.
Making the Most of Your Half-Marathon Journey
Perhaps one of the best ways to make the most of your training journey is to hold yourself accountable. There are many ways to do this, including starting a fitness blog or website. Likewise, there are plenty of smart SEO tools to help you grow your online presence and take your running journey from a hobby to a more serious commitment (think: turn your journey into a business and inspire others).
Regardless of what you decide to to do to hold yourself accountable, from blogging to posting on social media, it’s crucial that you first and foremost focus on avoiding injury and actually sticking to your goal of running the race. From foot injury to fatigue and beyond, make sure you keep your limbs and your body safe by adhering to the following tips that newbies often ignore.
Understand Proper Form
Whether it’s through YouTube tutorials or speaking to someone at a dedicated running store, you won’t get far in your journey without understanding proper running form. Despite popular belief, there’s more to running that just picking up your feet. For example, do you know the difference between heel-striking versus mid-foot striking?
Likewise, if you think that you can endure distance running with just any old pair of shoes, you’re in for a big surprise. Most people don’t realize how much their feet pronate or supinate and how such movements can be corrected with the right shoes.
While specialized running shoes may seem like a steep investment, you’ll see a world of difference and feel a lot less pain. In fact, once you get fitted for proper shoes it’s almost impossible to go back to jogging in your sneakers.
Don’t Forget to Stretch
From your ankles and calves to your knees and feet, make sure to take a few minutes to do some light stretches before any run, regardless of distance or intensity. Some yoga poses or stretching with a foam roller could mean the difference between finishing your race and sitting it out due to shin splints or something more serious.
Stick to Your Schedule
Following a training program, such as this half-marathon program by Nike, ensures that you pace yourself properly and avoid burning out. Even if you consider yourself to have a decent base level of fitness, make sure to take a slow and steady approach to training.
Although you should strive to stick to your program, you should also know when it’s time to rest and take a day off if necessary.
Don’t quit on your resolution to become a true runner because of poor planning. Instead, grab the challenge by the horns and set yourself up for success: the more you prepare and hold yourself accountable, the more likely you are to succeed and avoid injury.