I am one of the thousands of people who decided to train for the Mini Marathon in 2009. It all started with losing a bet and then being unable to come up with reasons why I COULDN’T run it. Could I use to get in better shape? Sure. Will it force me to be healthier in my choices in all aspects of my life? No doubt. Do I like running in the least bit? Absolutely NOT.
I’ve always been an athlete, playing softball and basketball growing up, and as an adult- coaching and playing soccer. Yes, all of those sports required running and all of the training/practice for those things required running. However… there was a ball, and teamwork, and other teams to play against. In short, running has always been a necessary evil to the things I love to do.
However, in making my “resolution”, I have also vowed to take a different approach to running. Yeah, I hate doing it, but I always feel so great afterwards. If all goes well, it should improve my game on the soccer field as well, which would be a welcomed side effect (or at least, that’s what I am telling myself).
So, in the spirit of the city-wide need to get out and run, here’s a quick guide to help you along!
Clothing: Taking up a new training regime doesn’t automatically mean an entirely new wardrobe (sorry shoppers). But, it will require some updated athletic gear, and the old adage of “common sense”.
First and foremost, make sure you wear reflective and bright clothing to ensure drivers and other runners can see you. Be smart and aware while you’re outside running.
A great advancement in athletic clothing is a termed called “wicking”. Clothing that ‘wicks” will not hold moisture, but will instead “wick” it away from your body, allowing the moisture to evaporate. Under Armour and Dri-Fit gear are great examples of materials that wick. But, you can find cheaper alternatives at Target or other stores that sell athletic gear.
Cotton socks are a no-no.
If it’s cold out, be sure to dress warmly. Try to at least make sure your base clothing wicks, and after that, add sweatshirts, hats as needed.
Food: Most athletic and nutrition experts will put nutrition at the top of their lists when it comes to proper preparation and maintenance of an athletic training system.
Some points of interest: eat breakfast each morning, eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables each day, eat high fiber breads and cereals only, eat a lean or low fat protein at each meal and eat 2-3 balanced meals at approximately the same time each day.
Great foods for training: yogurt, lean meats such as turkey and ham, bananas, apples, lots of vegetables, egg whites, soy, nuts or dry beans. Pay attention to the label and shoot for foods high in protein and fiber and low in sugar.
Drink lots of water throughout the day while training, equaling half of your body weight in ounces. Be sure to eat a carbhohydrate-rich meal one to four hours before the race to keep your energy levels high! Also, immediately after running, refuel with water, Gatorade or chocolate milk to replenish the nutrients in your body.
Shoes: Most runners will tell you one of the top priorities for running is the importance of a good shoe. Your old tennis shoes simply won’t work in training to run several miles each day. Problems like shin splits, back and leg pains, and overall soreness can all be diminished and in most cases completely eradicated by simply getting a good shoe.
Fleet Feet is one of the Contributing Sponsors of the Jewish Sports Medicine Healthy Lifestyle Training Program and can be found at 1500 Bardstown Road. You can find many of the clothing discussed above, as well as shoes in this running-specific store.
Swag’s Sport Shoes: 7415 3rd Street 40214, (502) 368-2443
Ken Combs Running Store 4137 Shelbyville Road, 40207 (502) 895-3410
As with anything you try that’s brand new, doing your homework and getting educated is the first step. If you’re like me and this is your first time attempting to train to run, putting yourself in the best position to succeed is a key component! Having good shoes, reliable clothing and a positive attitude are all things to help you get closer to your goal.
And, I’ll see you at the finish line!
For more information on the Mini Training Program please visit: http://derbyfestivalmarathon.com/site17.aspx
You can still register online for the program at: http://www.derbyfestivalmarathon.com/Training/Local_Training_Information__FREE_.htm