Half a week until half a marathon…

Less than a week to go until Run to the Beat and Through the Door Promotions is polishing up our training schedule and developing a running strategy:

Where does our iPod go?

What water bottle do we use?

There are water bottle stations, so do we use a plastic water bottle or a flask, and where do we dispose of the plastic bottle or how do we transfer the bottled water into the flask without stopping?

What music are we running to?

What clothes are we wearing?

What material of clothing?

Do we have the right trainers?

What do we eat beforehand or after?

Do we need to have a bun bag to carry valuables in?

If you can’t tell, panic is swiftly setting in. This is our first race so we are unsure of the protocol so it is complete guesswork, however, we are hoping (beyond hope) that we will be fully prepared on Sunday.

We have been training vigorously and this week is no different. We are aiming to run five miles each evening and two miles on Saturday morning so we can warm our muscles and prepare ourselves mentally for the 13.1 miles ahead on Sunday. We are also participating in other exercises including weights, yoga and spinning so we can improve our stamina and energy levels. Everyone running has seen an improvement in fitness and fitness levels (we are no longer crawling up the hill) and we are no longer terrified of the words half marathon. We are laughing in the face of fear, and running (13.1 miles) until it goes away.

Through our training regimes, we have learnt several tips on how to improve our technique, fitness, stamina and pace. We have listed below our top five tips to improve your run…

  1. When running up hills and slopes, run on your tiptoes. This strengthens your calf muscles and reduces your stride strength meaning you will slow your pace. Visualise pulling yourself up with your arms, and lean forward slightly.
  2. When you reach the top of the hill, widen your stride and land on the middle of your foot. Running downhill can be extremely taxing to the body and these tactics will reduce the impact on your knees and will improve the overall speed and efficiency whilst using less energy.
  3. When running, lean forward. This will send a force through your leg and foot into the ground and help you get an equal and returning force up your leg, propelling you. Leaning forward places your centre of gravity lower allowing you to accelerate more easily.
  4. Warming up is a beneficial way to tell your body that you are about to embark on physical exercise. This way, your heart and legs will adjust properly. Start with a brisk walk followed by easy running for a couple of minutes or so.
  5. When you finish your running, take a few minutes to cool down by running very slowly and walking in the last minutes of your workout. Finish with a stretch.

Good luck to everyone running in the Run to the Beat Half Marathon, and we look forward to meeting you at the start line.