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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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Congratulations for exploring the world of walking and running! Exercising on a
regular basis is one of the best habits you can acquire. Over the years, physical
activity research has discovered the numerous positive affects of exercise on our
physical and mental health. Daily physical activity and regular exercise can reduce
the risk of:

■Premature mortality

■Coronary heart disease

■Hypertension

■Certain cancers

■Osteoporosis

■Diabetes

■Obesity

Daily physical activity and regular exercise can also improve:

■Immune function

■Cholesterol levels

■Cardiovascular function

■Respiratory function

■Glucose tolerance

■Self-esteem

■Mood

The research has been so profound that in 1996 the Surgeon General published the
following warning to all Americans: “The Surgeon General has determined that lack
of physical activity is detrimental to your health.” This was a landmark statement
because it was the first time that a warning had been issued about Americans not
doing something versus pleading with individuals to stop doing something (such as
to stop smoking). The resulting recommendation was that “All Americans should
acquire 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, prefer-
ably all, days of the week.” By making the commitment to train for a 5K, 10K, or
half-marathon, and by following the protocols presented in this book, you will be
accomplishing the recommendation of exercising on most days of the week.

A well-rounded exercise program includes a balance of three components of physical
fitness: cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular fitness, and flexibility. Running and
walking are considered cardiorespiratory exercises. In this book, you will find

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ABSOLUTE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TOHALF-MARATHON TRAINING

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information on creating a strength-training program to improve your muscular fit-
ness, as well as guidelines for stretching to increase your flexibility. I encourage you
to incorporate all three components of fitness into your weekly routine.

Who Can Train and Successfully Complete a 5K,
10K, or Half-Marathon?

Nearly anyone who has the desire and the dedication can successfully train for and
complete a 5K, 10K, or half-marathon. However, there are a few exceptions. First,
the protocols presented in this book are designed for individuals over the age of 16
and therefore may not meet the needs of young runners and walkers. Secondly, if
you have any acute musculoskeletal injuries, have had recent surgery, or have
uncontrolled chronic diseases, you should consult with your physician before
embarking on a walking or running program. Finally, if you have never been physi-
cally active, I suggest you make an appointment with your physician to discuss any
appropriate modifications to your 5K, 10K, or half-marathon training based on your
past and current medical history.

Why Should You Follow the National Institute
for Fitness and Sport’s (NIFS) Training Programs?

There are many different types of training programs available in books, online, and
from private coaches. With so many options available, why should you follow the
guidelines in this book? The answer can be summed up with three words: education,
experience, and success. The mission of NIFS is centered on the health, fitness, and
well being of individuals of all ages and abilities. The driving force behind this book
is to educate and empower individuals to accomplish their physical activity goals
through walking and running. NIFS staff is university-degreed and certified by
national organizations in the areas of fitness, nutrition, and health. In addition to a
formal education, the NIFS staff is also composed of accomplished athletes who
practice what they preach. The NIFS running and walking training programs have
helped thousands of people successfully accomplish their long-distance walking and
running goals. With the combination of education, experience, and success, all you
need is the desire and dedication; this book will give you the tools to accomplish
your 5K, 10K, and half-marathon goals.

CHAPTER 1INTRODUCTION

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