This is a guest post by Shelly Hewson.
I remember when I agreed to take part, I was stood in the school hall (I’m a teacher) and was persuaded by a colleague. That night I ran just under three miles and actually thought I was going to die! After completing a 10K ( 6 mile) run the year before, but then doing little running in those 6 months after, I realised that this was going to be tough!
Anyway, after an initial bad start, I found it in my self-competitive nature to really go for it! Here are my top tips from my half marathon training:
1. If possible, train with a friend. Often, I found when I was lagging in energy, one of my friends would be on a high to motivate me or vice versa.
2. Vary your running routes or it will get boring!
3. Try to do two shorter runs in the week (3-5) miles and then a long one on a
weekend. I started my ‘long’ runs at 6 miles and then tried to build them up
between 0.5 -1 mile per week.
4. I found I hit a brick wall at about mile 8 and struggled to get any further for
weeks. This is when I found it useful going to the gym to do leg weights to
build up a little more muscle.
5. Raise money for a charity. If you know you’re doing it for a good cause or
something that you strongly believe in then you’re much more likely to push
yourself! I chose a children’s charity. Everyone was so generous with their
donations that I didn’t want to let them down.
6. Buy some proper running shoes! A couple of months before the run my foot
ballooned! Being a typical woman, I panicked and thought the worse! It
turned out that I was wearing shoes that had worn down too much. Trainers
have a ‘running life’ and are only designed to cover a certain distance. So, I
got myself down to a proper running shop where they tested my running
technique and the new trainers made a HUGE difference.
7. Eat lots of carbs! In the three weeks leading up to the run I was eating a lot of
bread and pasta. I also ate good lean meat like chicken. The best bit is
the night before the run. I couldn’t decide whether to have pizza or pasta so I
had both – guilt-free too!
A few others things to mention: Run with upbeat music and if you have an I Phone there are some great running apps available to download. I got the ‘Map My Run’ app for about 50p where I was able to track how far I was running. On the day the adrenaline really does kick in and you really surprise yourself. Try make sure you can run ten miles before the big day and you should be fine!
Most of all, enjoy your training!!
Shelly ran the half marathon to raise money for Martin house a childrens charity you can donate here.
For further questions or comments please leave a reply below!