I decided to challenge myself and signed up to run my very first half-marathon in October. My longest run was a 10K back in April so running a 21K race will definitely be a challenge, both physically and mentally.
This is my fifth week of training. I’m loving the journey and have learned a lot since I started. If you’re new to the “running world” or are thinking about starting long distance training, this is for you. Here are some personal tips I think you should know.
Finishing a long run makes you feel so accomplished. Trust me!
1. Find a Training Plan
In my opinion, this is the very first step you should take before signing up for a long-distance race. Like any other competition, a half marathon also requires practice, repetition and rest days, of course. Following a training plan will help you increase your mileage slowly and progressively, which will help you improve your performance over time and avoid injures.
I’m following the Garmin Coach Half Marathon plan (extra “bonus” for some of the Garmin Forerunner Series devices.)
2. Invest in Good Running Equipment
Wearing comfortable shoes and clothes, plus having the right equipment are a MUST! As far as running shoes, I have worn adidas since I did my 10K and I love them. They are light, comfortable and of course, super stylish. I just got these White Gold Edge lux 3 running shoes, and I’m obsessed!
Let’s not forget about hats for summer runs, bluetooth headphones, good clothes and of course, a running watch. I wear the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music and I absolutely LOVE it—it has detailed running dynamics, music capability and comes with all the training plans.
3. Make a Good Playlist
OK, this is a big one. I. don’t know about you, but there is no way I’m going for a long run without listening to some kind of music. I have always just listend to YouTube videos during my workouts, but I recently got Spotify. My goodness, it was a LIFE CHANGER. If you haven’t signed up yet, I highly recommend it.
I’m still working on my workout playlist, but my fave one right now is Level Up by Ciara.
4. Nourish Your Body
As you start increasing your mileage, you will naturally get more hungry and tired, and eating nutritious food and staying hydrated are key for success. Make sure you are getting enough healthy calories throughout the day so you have plenty of energy to finish your workouts.
Plan your day ahead of time. Know what time you will do your workout so you have time to eat and don't have to run on an empty stomach. Let me tell you, this is NOT a good idea (living and learning)!
But of course, you can still have your favorite “not so healthy” foods here and there. I eat pizza almost every weekend and I enjoy every single bit of it without any guilt!
5. Take Care of Yourself
Last but not least. Rest, stretch and recovery! Respect your rest days when you see them on your calendar. They’re part of your training for a reason and are as important as any other workout.
Also, make sure to do pre-run warm-up and post-run stretches, as will help muscle soreness.
*This post was sponsored by adidas. I have personally chosen the products and all opinions are my own.
Follow Sheina Fernandes @sheinafernandes