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These 10 commandments of training for a race will take you through the finish line with a smile on your face.
1. Warm up. Before every workout, walk for five minutes, or performing a few dynamic exercises to get ready to run.
2. Cool down. After every workout, walk for five minutes to bring your body back to normal. Start with a brisk walking pace and gradually slow it down.
3. Get social. Research suggests training in groups improves performance. This is especially important for long workouts. Find a running group, train with a buddy or join a social media group to learn from others and stay motivated along the way.
4. Perform dress rehearsals. Every long workout is an opportunity to practice your race-day nutrition. Find out what works for you, from your pre-race breakfast to on-the-run fueling and hydration.
5. Keep a log. Progression happens over time and in small increments. Keep track of your workouts in a training log, and you’ll be able to see how far you’ve come.
6. Rate yourself. At the end of every workout, log how you felt. If you start to see a lot of “not so hot’s” in a row, you’ll know to take a few days off to recover or modify your training plan and repeat an extra week before you progress to the next week (level).
7. Shoe shop. Get fitted for a pair of running shoes at your local running specialty store to make sure your kicks are right for you.
8. Lube up. Running creates friction, which causes painful chafing. Apply a sports lube (like BodyGlide) to all the places that rub together before your workouts, especially the long ones.
9. Hydrate. Invest in a multi-bottle waist hydration belt for your long workouts so that you can both carry water and a sports drink.
10. Celebrate every finish line. Running a half marathon is a gift that keeps on giving. Whether fast or slow, relish every finish!