Running a Fall Race? Here’s Everything You Need to Know
Hi everyone! I’m Cassie, the blogger behind Almost Getting it Together. After talking about clothes all day at my job in social media, I wanted an outlet to talk about my passions other than fashion – traveling, running, living a healthy lifestyle and of course, food!
I love sharing my knowledge and encouraging others to be the best that they can be. To do just that, I’m bringing you a three part series to talk about training for races in the height of marathon season. Check back each week for a new installment on nutrition, race day and recovery and today – training tips!
Are you a seasoned runner who is ready to take the next step and running a longer distance race or are you new to the running world? Either way, you’ll have to have time, commitment and a plan to reach your goal. From choosing your race to staying motivated and injury free, here are some of the best tips from an eleven year distance runner!
Choosing a Race
One of the best ways to stay motivated with your running is to have a race on the calendar so you can build your training plan. While there are opportunities for 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons and marathons year round, the main seasons for half and full marathons are in the spring and fall.
- Determine how much time until your race. If you’re a beginner, you’ll need eight weeks to train for a 5K or 10K, 12 weeks to train for a half-marathon and 16 weeks to train for a marathon. Be sure you take this into account when you are choosing a race!
- Decide where you are going to run your race. Will it be close to home or would you like to do a destination race like Disney or a Rock n’ Roll race? Each has its advantages and disadvantages. It’s nice to wake up in your own bed on race day but it’s also fun to run somewhere completely new.
Training for a race isn’t always easy or fun. There will be days you want to stay in bed instead of going for a run or head out to happy hour instead of spin class. There are a few ways to break up the monotony of running.
- Join a running group. Don’t worry if you think you’re too slow – there are people who run every pace who will be there! This is also a great way to make new friends and learn more about running from seasoned running veterans.
- Make a playlist that you use only for running. Save your best pump up music, the newest album from your favorite artist, or old school jams for your runs so you look forward to them even more.
- Buy new workout gear. Don’t go out for a 10 mile run in brand new shoes, but buy a new top or shorts every now and again to get you excited to go outside.
- Vary your route. This is important for injury prevention as well. You don’t want to see the same thing day after day and your legs need to run on different types of surfaces – trail, pavement, track – switch it up!
Staying Injury Free
Many people are afraid to begin running because they have lingering injuries or are worried about hurting their joints. Yes, both are possible, but if you take the right precautions, you will be able to get across the finish line injury free on race day.
- Get fitted for the proper running shoes. Many people will choose shoes based on whatever they like aesthetically – bad move. There are different types of shoes for different types of feet. Go to a specialty running store, tell them what you are training for and they will help you choose the best pair of shoes for your feet. They do this by watching you run, measuring your feet and looking at your old running shoes – don’t forget to bring those if you have them!
- Foam roll. Ever see people at the gym rolling over a cylindrical piece of foam? Yes, that’s foam rolling. It helps stretch the muscles and release lactic acid for a quicker recovery. It’s not always pleasant… think more, “it hurts so good”.
- Cross train. Don’t go out and run 7 days a week. Run 3-6 days a week, whatever works best for you, and go to a spin class, swim, do a strength workout or go to yoga the other days. Your legs and joints need a rest and you will become a stronger runner by getting your heart pumping in different ways.
Are you currently training for a race? What other tips do you have for aspiring runners?