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Half-Marathon Tips from Someone who has ran it.

Well since I last posted, I have spent a couple days of running at the park after work - MS has not gotten ridiculously hot yet but it's still miserable humidity. Well Tuesday I tackled the first day back on the c25k plan on my Iphone.  I did everything she said and only walked one time during the 'jogging' session because I was texting Brooke back.  The next session on Thursday night, I did not follow the program exactly like I should, but after we picked up Brailyn, she made us run behind her all across the soccer field, stopping and starting again - i felt like it was definite interval training...whatever that means. I'm not a pro runner...yet. 

But enough about my two days of being active...here is a post from one of my best friends, Nicole, all about running.  I hope you enjoy it and maybe if your beginning to run, like me, you learn a few things.  I know I did.

P. S.  If you are not friends with Nicole or Haley - you should be.  
Haley did a post all for little ole me yesterday called Runner's Guide; check that out here


What I Wish I Knew Before Running My First Half Marathon...

Hey there Readers! My name is Nicole and I write in my corner of the world at Running Nonstop.

When Cassie asked me to do a guest post I was super pumped when she picked the topic.  As we all know, our girl is training to run her first half marathon at the end of this year!  She needs all the help she can get to make sure she does it right.  While most people DON'T do all the correct things, it is always better for them to be aware of how to stay on good terms with your body.

Today, I am here to fill you in on details that I wish I had known/followed with my training. 

First, lets back up and get a little background on muah:

My entire life I was never really considered athletic.  In 8th grade, I decided to go out for cheerleader.  This was huge considering I was overweight.  I also cheered my sophomore year of high school.  I never understood how everyone else could run a mile on the track during practice in the alloted time.  I was the one that would walk behind the bleachers when I wasn't visible.  After that year, I gave up running and stuck with exercise and crazy diets.  I lose the weight eventually and would always attempt to run.  Before I could reach 2 minutes, I would be gasping for air and started walking.  This carried on for a few years when I would think I had my mind set to be a runner. 

My best friend started training for a half marathon two years ago.  She jokingly asked if I would train and run it with her that December.  Yeah, I laughed in her face.  Then in April she asked me again, to do a half in October.  I so badly wanted to be a runner still.  I knew that it would take determination and motivation and people keeping me accountable.  So, she talked me into it. I signed up and paid before I could change my mind. This was it.  I was finally going to make myself run.  

I started out using the Couch 2 5k app on my phone last April/May.  I did well with it for about 3-4 weeks.  Then I was set back 4 weeks for personal reasons.  My friend, Susan, got me to join a running group called Marathon Makeover when I was able to swing back. 

My Marathon Makeover Group! 

Basically the leaders train you to FINISH a half or full marathon.  THIS was my ticket to success! So I trained with Susan and busted my butt all summer.  My first 'long run' was the first meet July 2nd of 4 miles.  Before I knew it I was running 6-8 miles on Saturdays and thinking, this is really no big deal...I'm RUNNING!  October came and I finished my first (and only, YET) Half Marathon in 2:34! 

Ready for my actual POINT?! 
Finally, I know. 

I want to give you guys some tips, if you are like me and just learning to run.
What I wish I knew BEFORE running my first half...

1. If something hurts, something is wrong.

Listen to your body and figure out the problems before it gets too far progressed.  I constantly had knee pain after my long runs during training.  The pain was always at the medial (inside) knee joint.  I continued to run on it and just figured ice would help the pain go away.  The next Saturday, yep you guess it.  The pain would come back.  Like hurt to move my knee period kind of pain.  During runs, it would begin to hurt around miles 6-8.  It screwed me during my Half when it snuck up on me early at mile 3.  So gay.

2. Follow a Training Schedule and stick to it.

Marathon Makeover gave us a weekly training schedule to follow.  I know everything, so I didn't need to do that - bad move.  Instead of running 4 days during the week, I would hit maybe one or two days, then meet up for a long run on weekends with the group.  This trashed my body.  My muscles and joints would get so pissed when I would push them so much after not going easy for so many days, then slamming a 7 mile run out of the blue.

3.  Take Glucosamine supplements.

I was constantly told to save my joints with this.  Of course, I was hard headed and didn't think I needed it.  It was only a few months, but I feel like I creek already.  But I smile now, because I play the smart card now and take them every day.  My body will thank me when I'm 60.  

4.  Have your feet or running/walking pattern looked at. 

You can go to a specialty running store and have them do a thorough exam to see any deviations you may have.  For example: My right foot arch drops because my foot pronates (turns inside ankle down), so I require Arch Support inserts or shoes.  I found this out a long time ago when wearing Nike Frees and would feel a stinging pain in the arch during a longer run. 

5. Set a goal that works for YOU. 

If this is your first rodeo, don't expect to be able to pull off a 9 minute mile.  You may see how fast others run, but don't push yourself to THEIR expectations of themselves.

6. Fuel properly.

You may think "Oh I burned 1200 calories this morning." But don't eat like a cow thinking it won't matter.  If you are like me, you will pig out during training and then continue after the race is over.  Be smart about what you feed your body.  Don't kill your calorie burn by shoving a box of pizza down your throat.  Do your research and find out what good carbs there are out there for pre/post race fueling.  My metabolism is janked up thanks to stupidity. 

7. Stretch. 

Through my training, I constantly got sucked into reading running blogs.  While it was motivation to keep going, it was also very helpful.  Many people talked about foam rolling.  I never understood it would help me until I started rolling a few weeks ago.

You want to avoid "Runner's Knee" at all costs, so take my advice and get a foam roller and stretch that IT band after each run, and even days in between.  Your muscles will recover faster, and thank you later.  

I hope this tid-bit of information is somewhat helpful for any new runners.  Everything mentioned is based on my personal experience only.  Be smart with your training and don't think you know it all and are made of steel.  

So, get out there and get your run on!! 

I won't make this post any longer - but I want to thank Nicole a 1000 times for writing this post - it has helped me already.  I definitely want to train properly for my first half marathon.  Go visit Running Nonstop and follow her as she trains for her 2nd one.  

1 comment:

  1. I love love love this!! Nicole your attitude and personality are such motivators.


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