It’s Friday so I’m linking up with Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five linkup! Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostess and visit some other bloggers.
I have run 37 Half Marathons. You would think that I would know what I am doing, right?
That why this post is called: “You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks”
Here are some things that I personally have learned:
1. Less is More.
I used to think that I needed to do 10, 11 and 12 mile training runs. I would be worried that I would not have the endurance to complete 13.1 miles.
Mind you, some runners do or at least they think that they do need ALL these double digit runs.
You have to know you own body, the date of your previous half and most importantly, your goal for the race.
If your goal is to finish, you can skip those long runs and run the race accordingly.
In other words, you may be surprised how FRESH legs vs TIRED legs can affect how you run. You can OVER TRAIN!!
I ran faster and felt better during the half with 3 miles on the weekends than the one when I completed ALL my double digit runs.
Do you feel that you need long runs before a half marathon? Ever run one without?
2. Stability Shoes are Essential.
When I started running, I think I wore stability shoes. Maybe not the right ones because they became uncomfortable.
I discovered Nike ZOOM Vomeros which were LIGHT and had a wider toe box. I was happy. I ran faster too!! Win. Win.
If I ran longer than 8 miles, I got blisters, my lower back started aching and the bottom of my left foot HURT!
None of the above was unbearable and stopped bothering me as soon as the race ended.
So I kept buying these shoes in many colors and endured the discomfort.
The turning point was my calf injury in February.
I don’t know if the shoe was the cause but it prompted me to switch to a more supportive shoe.
I bought Mizuno Wave Inspire 15s with some pricey Fleet Feet insoles. The shoes were heavier and felt clunky when I ran. I felt much slower.
No aching back! No blisters! No pain on the bottom of my foot!!!!!!!
I also tried Brook Ravennas – pain on the right side of my foot (bunion area).
Maybe I’ll never be fast again but I think I’d rather feel good during my races.
So I am sold on the Mizunos! I think than I better buy another pair before they change them.
Do you wear Stability or Neutral shoes? Does it matter to you?
3. Negatives Splits Should be our GOAL
We all know that. But often you always feel good at the beginning of a race so you run fast.
Maybe you know you always slow down so you may as well take advantage on your speed in the early miles.
You get caught up in the excitement and then it’s too late.
It happens to me practically all the time.
Then my friend Stan ran the Hot Chocolate 15k along side me. His goal was to get me to slow down in the beginning miles. We chatted until mile 8 (and then he left me in the dust.)
I used this approach during my last half marathon. Two of my friends sprinted ahead of me and I lost them until mile 10. I still had spring in my step and passed them and many others. My last few miles were as speedy as the beginning ones.
Do you try for negatives splits? Do you usually succeed?
4. Fuel More Often
I’m normally not a big drinker or eater during a long race. I don’t carry water and usually stop at each water stop. So I guess how much I drink depends on how often the water stops are.
I carry GUs and my plan is to eat one at mile 4 and one at mile 8 but usually I ignore the 12 mile one. Sometimes I only even eat one at mile 5-6.
During one recent half, I finished the race and felt very light-headed like I was going to pass out. I took a GU and immediately felt better. Under Fueled! Duh.
So during my last half, I changed the plan. I ate a GU at mile 2, mile 6 and mile 10. So much better!!
I didn’t wait until I was sooo hungry or energy deprived. I ate before I needed it.
How often do you fuel during your half marathons?
5. We need Friends at races.
At least one of my half marathons each year is during my winter vacation in Florida. I run it but I don’t know anyone. Of course, I enjoy the race but I so prefer having friends at the start and to chat with after my race. It makes a big difference. Racing is not just about finish times.
I always wait for my friends to finish and cheer them on (if they are slower) and they do the same for me. They will wait for me if I get an award and I would do the same for them.
So anyone running the new Zooma race in Bermuda this February ? I want company.
Do you often race solo?
Happy Running! What have you learned lately? Please share.