Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Journey to a half marathon {part two}

Last week, I started a new series called journey to a half marathon, which you can find the first part here. This week, I will be talking about increasing your mileage, importance of stretching, strength training and fueling.


5. Increasing your mileage

  • At this point in your training, you should slowly be adding on your miles or kms (for those Canadians reading) to each of your long runs.
  • The common rule is that you should only increase your mileage in increments of 10%. This is to help prevent injuries from increasing your distance too fast and too soon.

6. Stretching

  • In order to keep your body in top shop to handle the increasing distances, it is important to stretch before and after each run.
  • Stretching helps to prevent injuries and also helps improve flexibility, which helps you become a more efficient runner.
  • Using this link will take you to the Runner’s World stretching page, where it will provide you with many different stretches.
  • Another form of stretching is to use a foam roller, which helps to roll or massage sore muscles especially after a long run.
    • Foam rollers can be found in different densities, lengths, etc
    • They can be found at your local running store or on-line


7. Strength training

  • I know that while I was training for my half marathons last year, I was terrible at fitting in strength training. This was not a good thing for me!
  • Strength training is important for runners because it helps you become a stronger runner and helps to prevent injuries.
  • Strength training that you could do could range from a Jillian Michael’s video to a short at home weight circuit to a P90X video. It doesn’t have to take a long time and you will not regret it.

8. Fueling

  • As you start to increase your distance, it is important to figure out what works for yourself in terms of fueling. What works for one runner may not work for another.
  • If you are going to be running for over one hour, it is important that you bring some form of fuel with you. It could be anything from sport beans to a Gu to a pb& j sandwich.
  • It is also important to take in electrolytes if your run will be over an hour. This could be water, Gaterade, Powerade, Nuun, etc.
  • Before you set out on your weekly long run, ensure that you have eaten enough calories to fuel you through your run. I am personally a fan of Cheerios or granola bars.
  • Many runners love the combination of a bagel, peanut butter and a banana, but running and peanut butter do not go well together for myself.
  • Again, figure out what works for you as everyone is different.
    • After you have completed your long run, it is important that you re-fuel your body within 20 minutes.
    • A popular choice is chocolate milk, which I personally love!
    • Other choices could include: Recoverite, bananas, bagels, bread, rice, fruit

Next week: other important tips for new runners


  1. Great post, I know this will help many newer runners!

  2. Stretching is soooo important!

  3. Good ideas, I will have to look back at this if I ever want to do a half!

  4. Great post! I think stretching and strength training are SO IMPORTANT. I know some runners can get away without cross-training but I am not one of them! When I added regular cross-training like yoga, biking, swimming and strength training to my routine I run stronger and faster AND avoid injuries!

  5. Very helpful! I have never been good about strength training. :/ I need to work on that. But I did incorporate more cross training when I trained for our Victoria Half and I think that really helped me!

  6. one of the best experiences of my life was my half marathon- it's an amazing adventure!!! I think this is a great training guide, great post!



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