Did you know that it’s only 48 days to the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon? This race is the largest half-marathon in the U.S. with 35,000 participants from Indiana, across the U.S., and around the world. On May 4, runners and walkers hit the streets of Indianapolis as part of the festivities leading up to the Indianapolis 500®.
Whether you’re running your first half-marathon or your 20th, here are some good training tips to follow.
- Make sure you’re physically fit to run a half-marathon. Schedule a physical exam with your doctor.
- Set a realistic goal. If this is your first half-marathon, then finishing may be a more realistic goal for you. If you’re a more experienced runner, then you may want to set a specific time goal.
- Start with a running base. New runners often think that they can just start running right off the bat without any previous running experience. But many half-marathon training plans assume you’re already running at least 15-20 miles a week. If you don’t have a running base, you could be setting yourself up for an injury.
- Follow a realistic training plan. You can find training plans online, in running publications or by joining a running club. Twelve weeks is the norm for most training programs; however, you may want to train longer (up to 16 weeks) if this is your first half-marathon. Also, find a plan for your specific running fitness level – beginner, intermediate, and advanced or experienced. Realize training programs vary in the number of times you run each week, your weekly mileage, and the types of workouts you perform. Choose a program that fits well with your work schedule and home life.
- Gradually increase your mileage. In general, you shouldn’t increase your total weekly mileage by more than 10% per week. This gradual increase should keep you on track without overdoing it.
- Cross-train. To improve your overall fitness, it’s a good idea to cross train at least twice a week. Some great options for low-impact, cross-training workouts include swimming, cycling, using an elliptical machine, weight training and yoga.
- Train with a buddy or group. When you train with a friend or in a group, you’re more likely to stick to your training regimen. Plus, a friend can help motivate you to keep going when you’re ready to throw in the towel.
- Choose a good pair of well-fitted running shoes. Your running shoes can be the difference between your feet feeling good or hurting, so they are the most important thing you can buy. Have your shoes fitted by a certified professional. Select shoes for your specific arch height and gait type. For more information, read this blog post on How to Choose a Running Shoe. Check out our Shoe Fitting Guide for more information on how to properly fit your running shoes.
- Wear socks. To protect your feet from blisters, you should always wear socks with your running shoes. Socks made of moisture-wicking materials, like the Thorlo brand, help pull moisture from your skin, reducing your risk of developing fungal infections like athlete’s foot.
- Rest. Make sure to take your scheduled rest days during your training program to help your body recover and repair. When you don’t get enough rest, you’re just increasing your risk of injury.
- Consider wearing ezWalker® Custom Performance Orthotics in your running shoes. Some runners overpronate when they run, which means the outside of their heel strikes the ground first, causing the foot and ankle to roll inward excessively. Other runners supinate, which means the outside of their heel strikes the ground first, causing their foot and ankle to roll outward too much. Both of these movements can destabilize the body. Since ezWalker® Custom Orthotics are made specifically for your individual feet, they realign your feet into the proper biomechanical position they need as you run. When your feet maintain their proper position, you run more efficiently. Plus, you’ll have less stress and strain on the joints in your feet, legs, hips and lower back – which means you’ll have less pain. ezWalker® Custom Orthotics are ultra thin and ¾ length, so they easily fit in your running shoes to provide you with maximum comfort as you run. Click here to order your pair today.
Lastly, and above all, you need to keep yourself motivated to achieve your goal. But by following these tips, you’re well on your way to completing those 13.1 miles. Best of luck and see you at the finish line!
Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.® And your running is even better.