Registering to run a half marathon for the first time can be an exhilarating and a daunting experience. When training for the marathon, putting your personal health as a priority is important. Injuries can occur. Here are ten tips for training for a half marathon to make sure your body is optimized for the important day.
Do not make any drastic changes in diet close to the race date as your body may react negatively to the change. If you haven’t tried a certain type of food during your training regime, do not attempt to add it into your diet a week before your race.
2. Train in Similar Conditions
Train on the same type of terrain as the running course. Running on concrete for 21.1 km has a completely different impact on your joints versus running 21.1 km on trail. The body and joints need to get used to the demands and impacts of different terrains. Be aware if you are running on a cambered roads or surfaces in the same direction all the time. You may want to change directions to avoid running on the same sloped surface.
3. Listen to Your Body
If you are tired, it is a sign that the body needs rest. Signs of overtraining are decreased performance, injuries, and lack of motivation to train.
4. Hill Training
Running hills improves the strength of the running muscles, and helps you push harder at the finish line!
5. Stretching Exercises
Make sure you stretch all the muscles involved prior to running. This includes your hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteals, and hip flexors.
6. Check Your Running Shoes
Make sure your running shoes are in good condition. The general rule is to change your runners every 300-500 miles.
7. Workout Intensity
You can increase the intensity of your workouts by increasing the intensity, frequency, or duration of the training. Choose only one parameter to increase at a time, since injuries frequently occur when greater than one of these parameters is increased.
8. Preventative Measures
If you have lower limb biomechanical issues, have these issues addressed by your physiotherapist so that they do not cause injuries during your training or the event. Examples include if you are an overpronator or oversupinator, you have tight iliotibial bands, you have a shorter leg or know you are stronger in one leg.
9. Get Professional Guidance
If you have a history of hip bursitis, iliotibial band problems causing knee pain, anterior knee pain or Runner’s Knee, shin splints or plantar fasciitis, have a physiotherapist assessment pre-training so that the underlying causes are remedied before your training begins.
10. Slow and Steady
Work your way up to the big event appropriately. All this information pertains to a runner training for a 5 km or 10 km race, but more so due to the prolonged and repetitive nature of the lower limb musculoskeletal use in longer races.
Have fun and good luck with training for a half marathon!
We want to congratulate our physiotherapist, Liz, who just successfully completed a half marathon recently. Congratulations Liz!