Good morning, friends!

I planned to wake up early and get a run in before work but that didn’t happen…I had to be at work for 9 and was a little rushed this morning. I need to get to bed earlier! I quickly made a ham and egg bagel sandwich and ate it in the car. It was actually delicious! I also had an iced coffee (Southern Pecan) with milk and sugar.

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As I mentioned earlier this week, I registered to run my third half marathon, which is happening on October 1st. While I am in no way an expert on the subject, I have learned a few things since I started running two years ago and I thought I’d share!

Rules of the Road: Running Lessons: Part I

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Here are some things I’ve learned (usually the hard way) and how I’ll do things a little differently this time:

Disclaimer: these are just things that have worked for me. They might not be right for you.

  • a training plan is helpful for mileage goals, but does not need to be written in stone. I followed Hal Higdon’s Novice Half Marathon plan for my first two races. The first time around I stuck to it very strictly and was pretty sick of training come race day. The second time, I was much more lenient since I didn’t want to wear myself out, but then felt under-trained at the race. I’m testing out my own training plan this time around (I’ll share it soon) and will change things up as needed, but I would like to stick to the weekly mileage goals.

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  • Slowly increase your mileage to avoid overuse injuries. When I first started running I started training for a half but was sidelined with a stress injury in my tibia a few weeks before the race. Very discouraging!! I was trying to do too much, too soon, and certainly paid for it.
  • if your budget allows it, invest in a quality pair of running shoes. Go to a running specific store and have them fit you for shoes that are designed for your foot type and stride. Your body will thank you.

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  • include training runs (or at least a run) longer than 10 miles. Hal’s plan tops out with a long run of ten miles and I followed this for half #1, but wish I would’ve gone the extra distance. This is all personal preference but I felt like those last three miles were especially difficult and I wished I had done a longer training run. My longest training run for half #2 was 12 miles and I will try to repeat that this time. 
  • find running clothes that you’re comfortable in and train in your race day outfit; don’t wear something new that day! There’s nothing worse than a run where you’re constantly pulling at your shorts/shirt or chafing from ill-fitting or bunching clothing/gear.

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  • test out different sports drinks, GU’s or energy chews, or whatever fuel you prefer, on long runs to figure out what works best for you. During a race is not the time to realize that the GU you brought along makes you gag. Also, If you’re going to carry your own fuel and/or water, try out different methods (handheld, fuel belt,Spibelt or CamelBak) during training. I’ve always carried water with either a belt or CamelBak but I’m not sure which one I’ll use yet…

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I hope you find this post helpful! Part II coming soon. And thanks for putting up with me as I try to establish a blogging schedule! Ideally I would like to post twice a day, morning and evening, but I’m still figuring out how to make it work. 

What form of fuel do you prefer mid-run?

I like chews or blocks, or even fruit snacks, but they sometimes get stuck in my teeth and can be annoying to chew! GU’s sometimes make me gag but I do like that you can finish them quickly. Gummy bears work in a pinch.

Any running questions that you would like answered?

I’ll do my best! Smile

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