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Half Marathon Training

Half Marathon Training

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Published by: genom2007 on Jan 01, 2012
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02/06/2013

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A little planning goes a long way the night before a race. If you prepare in advance,
you will avoid the last minute panic many first-timers experience. Before you go to
bed on the eve of your race, consider the following tips:

Set two alarms.This event is too important to let a snooze button or alarm

malfunction prevent you from achieving your goal. Put one alarm across the
room so you have to physically get out of bed to turn it off. Set both alarms
for a time that will allow you to dress, eat, travel, and get to the start line
early.

Know the forecast.For comfort and safety, you must dress appropriately before,

during, and after the race. In the spring and fall, it might be crisp in the
morning and a warm-up suit would be appropriate to wear before the race.
Based on the length of your race, the weather may actually change while you
are on the course. Therefore, you must be clothed properly to withstand
changes in the air temperature and humidity levels. If it is threatening rain
before, during, or after the race, you will want to pack rain gear and dry
clothes for after the race.

Be sure to have the entry form for race day information and directions to the race.

Either online or on paper, the race entry form is typically packed with all the
information you need to know for race day, including where to park and the
location of the start line and restrooms.

Take along snacks such as fruit, bagels, granola bars, and water.It is always a

good idea to pack foods and beverages in your race morning sack. In rare
occasions, races have been delayed for weather, traffic, or other unexpected
reasons. By having a little snack with you, you will ensure you continue to
stay well fueled until the race start. After the race, you will be thankful to
have a couple of snacks in your bag to munch on before you can get home
and have a well-balanced meal. Quick snacks immediately following a race
also help your body expedite the recovery process.

176

ABSOLUTE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TOHALF-MARATHON TRAINING

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What Should You Do to Prepare in the Hours Immediately Prior
to the Race?

The necessary preparations in the hours leading up
to the race can be summarized in three words—

time,familiar, and relax. As mentioned several times

in this chapter, allow yourself plenty of extra time
to get to the race for parking, packet pick-up, rest-
room stops, warming up, and any unforeseen prob-
lems. If you do not give yourself enough time, the
next two race morning guidelines—familiar and
relax—will not happen.

Included in your race morning schedule is time for
stretching and warming up. Five to ten minutes of
easy walking or jogging followed by 5–10 minutes
of stretching will allow your muscles to be primed
and ready for the gun to go off and the race to
begin. A good indication that you are warmed up
properly and sufficiently is to notice that you have
just broken a sweat. Do not push yourself so hard
that you are fatigued before the race; get your
heart rate up just enough to loosen up the muscles
and joints in preparation of a 3.1, 6.2, or 13.1 mile
journey. By planning ahead and scheduling time to
warm-up and stretch, you can also relax (the third
guideline) before heading to the starting line.

Another common race day question is, “Should I
eat anything on race morning, and if I should,
then what is best to eat?” This is where the familiar
component is so critical. Ideally, every walker and
runner would have something to eat and drink
before a race to optimally fuel the body. However,
not everyone has practiced with eating and drink-
ing before exercising. The bottom line is that you
should eat and drink the same thing you have had
to eat and drink before your training walks and
runs throughout the program. Do noteat or drink
anything new on race day! You may not realize a
product does not agree with you until halfway

CHAPTER 12RACING STRATEGIES177

beforeyou
headout
thedoor

The following is a checklist

of essential items to pack

for race day:

•Vaseline or

BODYGLIDE

(for under arms

or thighs)

•Toilet paper (for restroom

emergencies)

•Garbage bags (to wear at

the start of the race if it is

raining)

•Race number (you will not

be allowed to begin or fin-

ish the race without an

official race number!)

•Pins (to attach your race

number)

•Food/gels for before, dur-

ing, and after the race (to

stay well-fueled and to

begin the recovery process)

•Throw-away bottle filled

with water or a sports bev-

erage (to sip on before the

race start)

•Money (for food, race reg-

istration, gas, shirts, and

other souvenirs)

•Dry clothes (for after the

race)

12 3145 CH12.qxd 11/30/04 2:07 PM Page 177

through your race, which could ultimately throw a wrench in your race plans. Refer
to Chapter 10 for the guidelines for an optimal pre-race meal in order to concoct a
meal composed of your tried-and-true foods.

The final piece of pre-race preparations is to stay relaxed. At this point, the hardest
part of the event—the training—is behind you. Now it is time to enjoy the fruits of
your labors. One tool to help you stay relaxed is to perform a mental rehearsal.
Visualize yourself running/walking, sailing by the landmarks on the course, arriving
at the finish line feeling strong, and smiling knowing you have successfully accom-
plished your goal. Some people like to review their anticipated splits—the expected
times formajor landmarks (that is, every mile, every 5K, and so on) along the
course. Mentally review your splits only if it will not increase your anxiety level
about achieving the splits. Stay positive and get fired up!

What Should You Do to Prepare in the Minutes Immediately
Prior to the Race?

Ten to twenty minutes before the race, head to the start line. Do not wait until the
last minute to get to the start line—give yourself some time to find out exactly where
you need to go. Many races, especially the larger events, will have you line up
according to your race number or your bib color in specified corrals. However,
smaller races are set up on a first come, first serve basis allowing you to line up as
you please. The general start line etiquette, for races with no corralling system, is to
line up according to your anticipated pace with faster runners in the front and
slower walkers in the back.

Regardless of the start line set-up, you need to anticipate the shoving and “dog-eat-
dog” attitude that is common at the beginning of road races. It will be crowded;
expect some gentle pushing or elbowing as people
enter onto the course. In response to this scenario,
prepare to stay calm, watch your footing, and do
your best to walk/run a straight line allowing oth-
ers to move around you freely.

As you did in the hours leading up to the race,
relax and take some deep breaths—there is nothing
more you can do, the preparation is over. Nowlet
the hard work pay off!

178

ABSOLUTE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TOHALF-MARATHON TRAINING

note

“Believe it in your

heart, see it in your

mind, and achieve

it with your body”—Don’t doubt

yourself, you can do it!

12 3145 CH12.qxd 11/30/04 2:07 PM Page 178

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