Running is perhaps the greatest fitness activity for you. It improves the fitness of your entire body, improves your cardiovascular system, improves your endurance, strengthens your skeletal system, reduces stress and calms your mind. Running is the most natural fitness activity, requires no equipment, and can be done anywhere. People have been running since there were people.
Running is Good for YouEdit
There are countless scientific studies that show running is good for you, runners are significantly healthier and live longer than the average person, and even more than all other societal groups.
Running is FunEdit
If you are looking to get into shape, running is probably the best activity. Most people who are out of shape generally hate running, which is interesting, because most runners absolutely love running. There must be a reason for the disconnect, perhaps running really sucks when your out of shape, as it can be tough on your body if it is not something you're used to. Running definitely produces endorphins (self-manufactured morphine), this may be in part why runners love running so much, perhaps you need to be at a certain level of fitness to be able to run hard enough to produce the endorphins. So, if your just starting out and have not developed a love for running yet, keep at it.
Where you run is also very important. Most people who hate running, run on a tread mill (yuck), or a track (boring). Runners normally run on trails, or scenic paths, or roads in the country side. If you want to love running, run somewhere you love.
Types of RunnersEdit
There are several different types of runners:
- Middle distance runners
- Cross country runners
- 10km runners
- Ultra Marathoners
Having the right pair of running shoes is a basic but vital piece of equipment needed. Using the right pair of shoes will help to prevent injury and pain. Every runner should visit a specialty running store to get evaluated and fitted for the right type of running shoe. -MarPcit154
- Long run - A long moderate run, good for improving endurance, normally run once a week.
- Easy run - Nice easy run, enjoy the scenery.
- Time trial - Warm up, then run a set distance at race pace, time yourself.
- Intervals - Alternate between sprinting and jogging or walking, set distance (100s, 200s, 400s, 800s, or 1500s).
- Pyramids - Intervals that increase in distance than decrease (i.e. 100, 200, 400, 800, 400, 200, 100).
- Hills - Run up the hill, easy down.
- Stairs - Run up the stairs, easy down. (can also do stair intervals, either in number of flights, or number of steps each stride).
- Fartlek - Similar to interval running, but with no set distances or sets, "speed play".
- Fobar - Run one direction at race pace until you drop, then get up and run/jog/crawl home.
- A's, B's and C's - A = Kick your butt, B = Knee to chest, C = long stride.
Half Marathon Running Training Plan
The idea of finishing a half marathon race is great! However, it is impossible to just get up one morning and decide to run 13.1 miles without stopping. Your body needs to have a significant amount of training before the actual race. If you do not properly train your body for an enduring race, you will hurt yourself and possibly not be able to run again for some time. This is an example of a 12 week training program. You may have to alter speeds and mileage a bit depending on your experience and beginning shape. The basis of this plan is to have 3-4 “maintenance days” and 1 distance day a week. DO NOT run every day of the week for 12 weeks, you will hurt yourself, it is possible to over-train. Your body needs time to rest and recover (so it can build back and get stronger). If you are tired one day, make it a rest day. If your legs are super sore, make it a rest day. Taking one day off is not detrimental in your training process, it is vital, just do not make it into multiple days or you will end up falling off your plan.
- Week 1: 2 miles, 2 miles, Cross Trainer for 30 minutes, 2 miles, 3 miles
- Week 2: 2 miles, 3 miles, Cross Trainer for 30 minutes, 3 miles, 4 miles.
- Week 3: 3 miles, 3 miles, Cross Trainer for 30 minutes, 4 miles, 4.5 miles.
- Week 4: 3 miles, 3.5 miles, Cross Trainer for 30 minutes, 4 miles, 5 miles.
- Week 5: 3 miles, 3 miles, Cross Trainer for 30 minutes, 4 miles, 5.5 miles.
- Week 6: 3 miles, 4 miles, Cross Trainer for 30 minutes, 5 miles, 6 miles.
- Week 7: 3 miles, 4 miles, Cross Trainer for 30 minutes, 5 miles, 7 miles.
- Week 8: 4 miles, 5 miles, Cross Trainer for 30 minutes, 5 miles, 8 miles.
- Week 9: 3 miles, 4 miles, Cross Trainer for 30 minutes, 4 miles, 9 miles.
- Week 10: 3 miles (FAST), 3 miles (FAST), 3 miles (FAST), 3 miles (FAST), 10 miles.
- Week 11: 3 miles, 4 miles, Cross Trainer for 30 minutes, 5 miles, 11 miles.
- Week 12: 3 miles, 5 miles, Cross Trainer for 30 minutes, 2 miles, 12 miles.
On the week before your race you really want to take it easy. There is no reason to go too hard and hurt your right before, there will be no time to heal. Just go out a couple times that week to run, just to stretch out your legs, maybe adding some time on the Cross Trainer.
Half Marathon Weight Training
Most people believe that in order to best train for your upcoming race, it is vital to run and only run a lot. Well, this is incorrect, it is essential to incorporate some sort of weight lifting into your overall training for your half marathon leading up to race day. Working out your upper body is often overlooked because you are not thinking about your arms while running because all of your bodyweight is on your legs. Since running is considered muscular endurance, the ability to do a repetitive task for the maximal amount of time possible, it would be more effective to lift weights in that way (see Muscular Strength vs. Muscular Endurance). It is necessary to train your whole body the same way during this process. Your legs are the biggest muscle group in your body, they will actually tire-out after the other muscles in your body. Runners must make it into a gym to train all of their muscles just about as often as they strictly run to be in peak physical condition for their race. Break your muscle groups up into different days. Train your different muscle groups after different run days, making sure to NOT lift weights after long distance runs. You want your long distance run days to be strictly focused on completing your run to the best of your ability.
- Day 1: Chest & Triceps
- Day 2: Back & Biceps
- Day 3: Shoulders & Trapezius
- Day 4: Lower Body
Alternating a weightlifting program with your Half Marathon Running Training Plan will put you ahead in training your body above and beyond the 13.1 miles it will endure on race day.
Half Marathon Diet PlanEdit
I’m sure everyone has heard of the myths, “as long as I run today I can eat anything I want” or “I need to carb load, I am going running.” Well, these statements are not entirely true, in order to train your body for a half marathon you need to be consuming the proper type and amount of food. Although it is true that the body will be burning a lot of calories during your training sessions, it is imperative to be consuming the proper types of calories to replenish it. When planning out your diet plan during training it is important to think about your current fitness level. If you are underweight or not looking to actually lose any extra pounds, it will be essential to make sure you are consuming the same amount, if not more calories than you are burning for the day. If you are overweight, not only will it be beneficial to your running to lose some extra pounds (lower weight = less weight to drag along during your run) but it will make you more healthy and feel better come race day. In this case you will want to intake less calories than you burn off for the day. In order to track your calories in versus calories out, make use of a calorie tracker to see if you’re in excess or deficit, a reliable one can be found at My Fitness Pal. “Carb loading” is not necessarily a bad thing, a high-carb diet is actually encouraged when training distance running. However, this does not mean to only eat food that is high in carbohydrates. Your body needs a rounded intake of calories consumed in order to recover. Essentially, your carbohydrates are what is going to fuel your running. Along with carbs you will want to get a good source of protein and fats in your diet. Protein is important for your post run recovery, fueling your muscles with amino acids to make them stronger. Fats will add to additional fuel sources. A good rule to stick to in making your plate is 60% whole wheat carbohydrates, 30% lean protein, and 10% healthy fats. Now this in mind you will want a wide variety of the three, carbs, protein, and fat.
- Carbohydrates: whole grain pasta, whole grain cereal, sweet potatoes, oranges, black beans, mixed salad greens, whole grain bread, stir-fry vegetables, and mixed berries.
- Protein: chicken, whey protein, milk, almonds, eggs, salmon, low-fat yogurt, and cottage cheese.
- Fats: sunflower seed oil, avocados, and dark chocolate.
Entering a race is a great way to keep yourself motivated during training, give yourself a sense of accomplishment, meet other runners, and find out how fast you can run. The most important thing about entering a race is just don't train for the race and stop running after you finish it, the race is life, never stop running.
- Running Room - A running store and a running club all in one.
- Running on Wikipedia
- Runner's World - Magazine and great running resource.
- Running Mania - Canadian running online community.
- Foam Roller Information - Great resource for foam rolling, and running.
- Nike Store - Complete Nike shoe selection, customize your own pair of shoes.