This weekend I am participating in Race for the Cure. A fun easy 5k through Balboa Park with tons of runners, joggers, and walkers participating. It got me thinking about the hundreds of people who decide to participate in these runs without properly training for the event. Now a 5k is just over three miles so the chances of someone who is not very conditioned getting hurt is not as likely. However, there are plenty of people who decide to participate in even further distances that can be very taxing on the body like 1/2 marathons and even full marathons.
Participation in such events has increased over the past decade as people begin to realize the benefits from physical activity and healthy competition. Some people find it a great motivation to help them lose weight. Unfortunately, many people go about training for these events, without a great understanding of how much to train, and when to begin the program in order to successfully prepare their body for the race.
Somethings to keep in mind:
1) You need more than a week to prepare, for all those procrastinators a good rule of thumb is 3 months for a 1/2 marathon and 6 months for a full marathon.
2) Over-training is a bad idea as well. Running at most four times a week, and combining that with 1 day of strength training. Giving your body two full days of rest for recovery.
3) Adequate fuel. Since you will be training harder than your body is used to you need to increase calorie intake. Make sure that you are eating whole foods, plenty of protein and fat for post-training and mainly carbs with some proten pre-training.
4) Be sure to properly warm up by starting with a light jog and incorporating post stretching afterwards giving attention to the shoulders, back, hamstrings, glutes, quads, and calves.
For more great training tips visit Runner’s World.