Los Angeles, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/24/2014 -- Once beginner runners get through their first few races, they start to think about how they can increase endurance, and maybe a few even plan to run a half-marathon race as a step before a full marathon. But even to those who’ve been running a while, 13.1 miles can seem a daunting distance. But with a proper training focus and know-how, this distance is achievable for any runner willing to take on the challenge.
Before beginning training for a half-marathon, it’s a good idea to invest in a pair of quality running shoes. This is often the first line of defense in injury prevention. At many running stores, there are also training guides for half-marathons available or you can run into other runners and get suggestions on shoes and how to begin training for a race as well.
When starting on a program, build up the distance and pace gradually rather than doing too much too soon. This could lead to burnout or injury and can make many give up before they really get started. A good plan is to build up endurance over 10 weeks, and not increase the distance of a long run by more than 10 percent each week. Most training plans included running at least 3 times per week, each with a different focus. Plan for a short run for speed, another easy run for tempo, and a long run to improve endurance on long distances.
Don’t neglect other forms of training in the build-up to the race. Resistance and flexibility will help balance the body, and can help improve speed and endurance as well as strength to prevent injury. Cross-training with other programs will help a person become a better runner overall.
In addition to the training, be sure to maintain a balanced nutritious diet to keep up energy levels, and stay hydrated. The National Athletic Trainers Association recommends drinking 17-20 oz. of fluids prior to exercise, and 7-10 during every 10-20 minutes of exercise. Keeping hydrated and fueled with nutrition will help with training focus and recovery on resting days.
Finally, don’t stress in the days leading up to the race. Remember that these races are not about who wins – set a personal goal and push towards it to finish strong and happy with personal progress.
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