Friday, September 10, 2010

Training for A Race #2

Running for a race takes more than just owning a pair of rubber shoes and signing-up for a race. You have to be sure that you are physically fit to run, have the proper running gear, and go under training before entering a big race especially for those who are just beginners. As many would say, preparation is always key.

Getting started on a training program can be very difficult for many especially those who are not physically active or those who don’t have a regular exercise routine. After convincing yourself that you’ll start training, you throw in the towel and call it a day the moment you feel your legs aching and your lungs hurting
So how do you get started? Before picking a training program or entering a race like the Run for Pasig River on 10.10.10, you have to set your goals on what you want to achieve and find a good motivation to keep you going. Do you want to join a marathon eventually? Are you running for health reasons? Are you just doing this for leisure? Or are you running to advocate a good cause? The point is you have to have a goal that will keep you going and running.
After setting your goals, you can now begin looking for a training plan that is fit for you. If you’re new to the sport, a lot of professional runners would suggest starting with a 5k training program or run.

Some Reminders Before You Start
1.    Start slow. Too many people have failed in their attempt to train themselves effectively because they start too fast and train too hard. You should ease your training plan according to your body’s capability gradually increasing your regular running pace to achieve the 5K competency.

2.    Stick to the plan. Don’t try to skip ahead of the training program. When you get impatient, stop yourself from advancing to the next level of training to avoid burn out.

3.    Repeat if needed. If your body feels pressured to continue with the training and if you feel that you can’t cope up with the plan, avoid moving to the next level of training. Maintain the current week of your running plan, and go ahead with the training when your body is capable.

4.    Don’t forget to stretch. Start and end your training sessions with stretching exercises to avoid any injuries. Injuries can have unfavorable effects on your training schedule and render you incapable to continue your bid to run.

5.    Warm ups are important. After stretching at the start of your training session, proceed with a 5-10 minutes of warm up – either an easy jog or a walk would do. This will loosen up your leg muscles to achieve maximum efficiency in your actual training.

6.    Take your rests. Rest days are as important as training days in your routine. Don’t take rest days as “nothing” days. Make it as a program to make time for your muscles to rest and recover after days of training. It will equip your muscles enough time to build and recuperate for the next training session.

7.    The goal. Your minimum goal is to run and finish the 5K event and not to race it, so don’t be too hard on your body.

8.    Rest before the race. Take about 2 to 3 days of rest before the actual run. By rest, I am not referring to inactive rest, but rest from training. You can engage in activities like swimming, biking or jogging, just make sure that the intensity of your activity is lower than your training course.

9.    Don’t try anything new on the race day. This includes new running shoes, socks, shoelaces, shirts, shorts or pants, foods and drinks, etc. If you really wanted to use your new gears, be sure to use them on your training runs 2 to 3 weeks before the race.

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