What Not to Do When Training for a Half Marathon
Training for a half marathon is all about self discovery and building mental and physical strength. But it doesn’t come without a few challenges. To help you navigate training and race day, here’s a list of things not to do based on the experience of millions of first-time half marathoners:
Don't skimp on calories.
You will be hungry. Eat healthfully and plentifully. Now is not the time to restrict, even if you are using this as a method to lose weight.
Don't eat terribly.
Just because we said to eat does not give you the go-ahead to ban veggies from your diet. Your body needs nutrients that you cannot get from processed foods. You can definitely indulge at times but everything in moderation.
Don't run too fast or too far.
Stick to the plan. As you start to run longer distances, there will be runs where you feel like you can keep going…and going…and going. Resist this urge. Running too long can lead to overuse injuries and you won’t have time for that!
Don't disregard the importance of pace.
In a beginner half marathon training plan, most of your runs will be at an easy conversational pace. If you have a recent 5K or 10K race result and want to know the exact pace you should be hitting, plug it into an online pace calculator.
Don't skip strength training.
Too many runners forget that you need to keep your muscles strong to support the amount of impact and strain you put on them during this period of concentrated running. Bodyweight exercises like squats, glute bridges, pushups, lunges, planks, and bird dogs are easy to incorporate.
Don't skip the taper.
The taper period is there for a scientific reason. It actually takes your body from a state of depletion to a state of strength. You might think you should do a longer run during those two weeks because you need to make sure you can actually cover the distance, but just don't. Trust the process, trust the plan.
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