Running Your First Half Marathon

Running Your First Half Marathon

It wasn’t long ago that you tackled moving from evenings on the couch watching Netflix to your first ever 5k. As you progressed in your running abilities, you moved up from the 5ks to 10ks, upping both your stamina, athletic prowess, and sheer willpower.

You’ve caught the running “bug” and before you know it, you were contemplating a Shreveport half marathon. But not so fast there, sport. Half marathons are no joke. They take dedication like no other, and a regimented training plan and you’ll need to stick to, lest you end up passing out or puking on the sidelines halfway into the race.

But where do you start?

Winter is coming, and it is not predicted to be pleasant. How do you keep up your training during colder months? At Fitness Expo Stores, our Shreveport exercise machines can help you train indoors when it gets too rough to continue training outside.

Beginning Preparation

Whether you’ve been working your way up to longer distances or are just getting started, you have what it takes to run a half marathon. The key is to train without putting too much stress on yourself, taking care to not push too hard too fast. Remember, it’s a “marathon” not a sprint, and an injury early on could derail your plans.

Make sure you can commit to working out six days a week. It requires great commitment to safely reach the proper level of training needed to run a half marathon.

Because of this, we suggest looking for Shreveport half marathons that are at least two months away (if not longer) to give you time to properly prepare.

Plan for the Unexpected

During your training, there are many issues you may encounter. You may become ill or suffer an injury. Work or personal life may become complicated and eat into your training time. In order to avoid stressing out over missing a deadline, it is wise to allow closer to three or four months before planning on a race or have a backup race planned out in case a “life” event causes you to miss the mark for the first one.

Create Your Training Plan

First, create your base. Decide how many weeks of training time you have, as well as miles of running, before your first race. This is called your “base” and will be where your training kicks off.

There are four main steps to creating a training plan for your next half marathon:

  1. Cross-Training Days: During cross-training, focus on a sport outside of running. Cycling, swimming and ellipticals are among some of your options. The Horizon Fitness EX59 Elliptical is great for cross-training. Weight training is another essential workout, to build muscle strength.
  2. Long-Run Days: This will occur once a week, and the long run will be about two times as long as a normal run. Your weekly workout culminates in this event. Try to run on a terrain similar to what you will run on the day of your race. Also, remember that pacing is of the utmost importance!
    A great option when training indoors is the Horizon Adventure 5 Treadmill, complete with an extra long deck, ViaFit connectivity, and a quiet digital drive motor.
  3. Rest Days: It is essential to work in rest days to minimize the risk of injury and allow for optimum muscle gain.
  4. Tapering: This occurs approximately two weeks before race day. You do not quit running, but you scale back your workouts in order to prepare for the race day. This temporary cutback helps you be physically and mentally ready.

Once your training plan is complete, it is time to gear up for your running adventures.

Invest in Quality Gear

There is a number of fitness items that are essential in the runner’s lineup. Make sure to have a good pair of leggings that are comfortable to run long distances in. Test out different headphone types to see what will stay in your ears best during your run. And most important of all, invest in a quality pair of running shoes. The right shoes are essential in achieving your running goals and will provide your feet, ankles, and even your knees with impact support and cushioning to handle the repeated impact of hitting the pavement over long distances.

An item you may not have considered is socks. Test out your socks to make sure they meet all your race-day needs. The socks need to be high enough to stop a shoe from rubbing the back of your ankles but not the kind that will slip down multiple times during a race.

Shreveport exercise machines can also help you get in perfect form for your next race. Having a few pieces of equipment at home removes the stress of making time to go to the gym!

Create Your Meal Plan

Just as important as training and gear is to fuel your body with the appropriate foods. Do not fall for every diet trend that you come across the Internet. Research how different foods affect your body and adopt a healthy lifestyle. If necessary, you can hire a nutritionist to help you build a solid meal plan.

A carb-filled breakfast will help fuel your run. Bananas are great for potassium after your workout. Be sure to drink plenty of water so you can stay hydrated and rid your body of toxins.

Have Exercise Equipment At Home

Some days, it is just nasty outside. You may be unable to drive to an indoor gym, but you cannot run outside either. This is why it is wise to invest in Shreveport sports fitness equipment to use on days when you cannot go outside.

When running indoors, consider the Vision TF20 Treadmill. This treadmill features an extra-large LED display with performance feedback. It is perfect for improving your run!

Treat Yourself

Make sure you buy a foam roller for stretching muscles at home. Also, it may be a good idea to purchase a membership to the local massage parlor. Keeping your muscles relaxed helps you get the most out of your workouts!

Enjoy the Process

Running can be a great stress reliever. Not only are you making an effort to be physically fit, but you can also use this opportunity to listen to some great music and lose yourself in the run. There is nothing quite like taking out some of your life’s frustrations out through your feet as you feel the daily grind melt away. Some days, it is harder to quit running than it is to start!

By following this guide and by finding the perfect pieces of Shreveport exercise machines for your home, you can accomplish that half-marathon in no time! Remember to fuel your body, rest up when necessary, and be careful to minimize the chance of injury. Running is a pleasurable sport, and there are many fun themed runs to participate in.

The hardest part is getting started! Choose to begin your training today!