13 miles may seem like a huge distance, but with the right training a half marathon is a great goal to aim for. Also, once you’ve got into running, going for a 30 minute jog is a fantastic hassle-free way to keep fit, plus, it’ll save you a fortune every month in expensive gym membership fees!
We’ve been given these fantastic running tips from fitness fanatic Nell McAndrew. She’s released four exercise DVDs and recently ran the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon.
1. Get yourself a good running kit, including running shoes and, for women, a sports bra. Also, a good pair of running socks will draw moisture away from the skin and help prevent against blisters. Try running in your kit beforehand so you know it’s comfortable. Trainers should have room to allow for your feet to swell and move forward slightly. I recommend getting a proper fitting as we all run differently, most good running shops offer this service.
2. Don’t over-exert yourself, build up your training gradually and follow a training plan with set milestones to reach. Enter other organised runs in the lead up to help keep you motivated and see how your fitness is improving. Make sure you do shorter faster runs as well as your long steady runs as they will help improve your speed.
3. To reduce the chance of injury, make sure that you stretch properly, as well as warming up and cooling down. Take a drink with you to sip and always drink plenty of water after a run to rehydrate your body.
4. Run to a good tune – get hold of a good sound system to listen to while you train and keep motivation going. Imagine yourself crossing the finish line when you’re running to your music!
5. You can also buy tracking software which is a great way to enhance your training. It will track your routes, monitor your progress and your family and friends can even check online to see how you’re getting on.