Increasing your training distance to achieve half marathon instead of 10k can seem a daunting prospect however it can be achieved safely and successfully following some basic principles.
- Have a plan. Make sure you look at the date you need to achieve your half marathon distance and plan backwards week upon week so that you can make gradual increases in distance each week rather than cramming closer to the event. Research seems to suggest that increases over 2 weeks of more than 30% total volume put runners at greater risk of lower limb injuries.
- Cross train. Remember not all your fitness work has to be running and your body will probably appreciate cross training in some way e.g using a substitute bike, cross trainer or pool session instead of an impact running session
- Recover well. Your body needs some love. Give it what it wants both making sure you sleep ideally 8 hours +, hydrate consistently well so your pee is always clear and eat a colourful well-balanced diet to give you appropriate energy for growth and repair.
- Be Patient. Remember training is a process of building tolerance and allowing your body to adapt to become both stronger and fitter. We live in an “Amazon Prime” type world of immediacy and training doesn’t happen overnight!
- Have a good pair of trainers. Probably the most important thing is that they are comfy and appropriately compliment your foot type. Some people require more control and support than others. Don’t expect to succeed using fashion trainers as your main set of wheels! Go to a proper running shop and try several pairs on. Be aware that some staff promote brands more as they have been given a free pair, also be careful of using things such as the “wet footprint test” to select trainers. It is outdated and not reliable.
- Cool down. The last thing we ever want to do after a run is any kind of cool down but consider it a process where you are ironing out the creases ready for the next session in a day or two. Basic stretches will help as will your new best friend the foam roller which should be a compulsory piece of kit used after each run……… it’s worth the pain!
- Enjoy it! Whatever your goal may be (charity, fitness, life goals, weight loss, PB’s etc), remember why you are doing it and try to embrace and enjoy it – you will always get the best version of you when this is the case!