Runner’s World Friends… How is Your Training Going?
In about 30 days… the RWHalf and Festival happens… are you ready?
Hopefully you’ve been slowly increasing your mileage and doing a weekly or bi-weekly long run. Long runs should be between 7 and 10 miles now with at least 3 to 4 shorter runs shattered throughout the week.
During this time, be careful and listen to your body!
A few weeks before a race can be a prime time to experience injuries, especially if you are pushing your body to running longer and/or faster than you have recently or in the past.
During these weeks, you will be tired (go to bed earlier!) and your body will ache. (take your vitamins and get massages) But if you are aware and listen to any pain signals your body is sending your way, you will make it through these final weeks injury-free.
Remember you can push through discomfort, but not through pain.
I’ve been living this out recently. The side of my left knee complained during my long run last week so I shortened my long run from 10 miles to 7.5 miles. I massaged my knee and the surrounding area throughout the next few days. Then I did an easy 4 1/2 miles and it still bothered me, so I took an extra rest day and yesterday I walked 4 miles instead of running it. It’s feeling almost back to normal now, so I think I’m ready for another long run tomorrow.
UPDATE: 2 weeks later. Taking it easy for a little worked, my knee is feeling fine now!
Another key thing… nothing new on race day!
So now is the time to make sure you have good shoes and socks to wear, not worn out ones and not brand new ones. If either your shoes or socks are fairly worn already, purchase new ones now, so you have time to do a few short and long runs in them before race day.
And experiment with what you will eat and drink on race day. The RW Half starts at 8:30AM… will you run on an empty stomach? Drink some coffee first? Eat a light breakfast? Eat breakfast at a smorgasbord? (not recommended!)
There is no one perfect answer when it comes to what to eat and drink before or during a race, other than make sure you drink some water. Everything else is personal and you have to experiment with your long runs to find out what makes you feel best.
Don’t make the mistake I did years ago when I tried Gatorade for the first time during a half marathon and I had a nasty upset stomach for the rest of the race. I discovered (rather miserably) that I can’t tolerate most of the sports drinks, so now I make and carry my own.
And as you push your body during these final weeks, remember to warm up and cool down before and after a run. Walk and/or jog a little and do some light stretching. View Runner’s World’s short videos of good yoga poses that will help you recover better.
So be aware and train smart… your body will thank you!
How’s your training going?
Any advice you have to share with and/or my readers?