Hello IdealShapers! My name is Angie and I’m new to writing on this blog. As I was deciding what to write about I thought about something one of my professors once told me. He said, “Always write about something you love or else it will be boring to write and just as boring to read.” Well I’m definitely not here to bore you guys. So I thought for a second about something that I love and know enough to write about. Then the answer came to me… running. I love to run. I mean I really really love to run. And although I am no expert on it, I have been running for about the last ten years of my life. And I did take a jogging class in college. That’s got to count for something… right?
For me, running is not only a way to stay in shape but also a way for me to clear my head, reach my goals, and feel good about accomplishing a hard task. Running just for fun is great but when I run I like to be running towards a goal. I love training for a race. I have run countless 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, and a marathon (which was terrible and awesome and I will definitely run more of them). My greatest love, out of all these races, are half marathons. Almost nothing makes me happier than running a half marathon (except for the one I ran while I was pregnant. That was death). They are just enough to be super challenging but still a whole love of fun at the same time.
Anyway, I haven’t been running for the past five or six months because I was pregnant and despite my best intentions, I finally got too big and heavy to enjoy running. Well I had my baby six weeks ago and I just got the ok from my doctor to begin working out again and I cannot wait to lace up my nikes and hit the pavement.
There are always plenty of half marathons in the spring and summer so I thought that the perfect way for me to get back into shape and back into running is to start training for a race. And I thought you might like to join me. Like I said, I’m not a professional runner by any means, I only know what works for me, but I would love to share some tips that I have picked up on while training for the races I have done. I want to help you train for running!
The first thing you need to do is pick a race and commit to running it. Whenever I train for a half marathon I usually pick one that is about twelve weeks out to make sure that I have plenty of time to be ready for the race when it comes.
Second, you need to decide what your current level of fitness is. Are you a beginning runner, an intermediate runner, or an advanced runner? Whatever level you are at, the outline for the training schedule is the same. Basically, in one week, you will have one long run, one rest day, two days of moderate to intense running, and three days of cross training. Clear as mud?… I thought so. Let me explain a little better by showing you the outline that I typically follow:
Monday: 35-45 minutes of cross training
Tuesday: short, but intense run
Wednesday: 35-45 minutes of cross training
Thursday: short, moderately intense run
Friday: 30-40 minutes of light cross training
Saturday: long run
Sunday: rest day
On the short runs I usually run 3-5 miles and I use my handy dandy nike+ chip to track how long I have gone (its awesome. I highly recommend it). For the cross training I like to switch it up a little so I don’t get bored with one thing. I will swim, bike, do aerobics… basically anything to keep my heart rate up. I always try and take it pretty easy the day before my long run so that I don’t become overly tired before running the long distance. As for the long run, you want to start with a very doable mileage. I always start with 3 miles and increase one mile each week until the week before the race when I drop back down to four or five miles.
As you are training, make sure to start each workout with a warm up and end with a cool down. And be sure to stretch! Seriously! Don’t the mistake I made when I was training for my first half marathon. I never stretched and I ended up getting tendinitis in my knee and to this day I still have to ice my knee after every long run. Its a pain. I wish I would have just been stretching regularly the whole time. Its also important to have a good meal before each workout. I usually try and eat about 30 minutes before I workout. I usually make myself an idealshape shake and eat some type of carbohydrate, like a fruit, along with it. After my workout I eat again to replenish what I burned. I always try to have a balanced meal with equal amounts of protein and carbohydrates.
When starting any new fitness program its always a good idea to check with your doctor first. Be sure to listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard.
Now you’re ready to lace up your running shoes, press play on your “pump it up” play list, and get lost in a run.
P.S. If you want to check out my current training schedule you can see it here.
What race are you training for? Let me know in the comment section!