One of my summer goals is to get healthy and one of my favorite ways to do this is to run. I love to run because it’s relatively cheap, can be done anywhere, and is great for you! My favorite way to run is to run with a friend and to train for a race. Having both keeps me motivated to stay consistent.
If you’ve been meaning to get healthy, let me encourage you to give running (or walking) a try! Here are my tips to get started.
How to Train for a Running Race
1. Pick a Race
Sounds crazy, I know, but you can start running by signing up for a race. I even have a recommendation for you! Whether you want to train for a 5K, a 12K (which is roughly a quarter of a marathon), or a half marathon (13.1 miles or 21K) the Zooma Women’s Race Series has something for everyone! I’ll be running the half in Amelia Island, FL on October 21.
Wanna join me? Use my ambassador code to get 10% off the registration fee! (Use code: SHEILA2017) I have run this race before and the location is just beautiful! It’s a smaller race focused on women (although guys can run it too) and they have a great party at the end 🙂
I have counted, and you have 15 weeks of training. That is perfect for half marathon training! If you are just getting back into running then you can finish a 6 week C25K program and then still have 9 weeks of training for a 5K or 12K race. Get started now!! Whatcha waiting for?? Go sign up!!
2. Pick a Training Schedule
If you are brand new to running then I would recommend a Couch to 5K plan. The one I used to get back into running is this one: If you have a good running base (can run 3 miles on a regular basis) then I would recommend upping your game to a longer distance. I like Hal Higdon training programs. Or if you prefer to run/walk, then Jeff Galloway has training programs.
3. Get Good Running Shoes
If you haven’t purchased new running shoes in a while then go ahead and get some now. You are going to be putting a lot of miles on your shoes in the next few weeks. Don’t go out and spend $200 on running shoes but do get a pair that fits your style of running. You may pronate or run heavy so you want to get the shoe that’s right for you. If you are not sure you can go to a running store near you and get fitted for running shoes but be advised that they will upsell you. Just take note of what they are saying to you and see what shoes they recommend. You could also ask for a cheaper version of their recommendation.
I run in Saucony Cohesion. It’s a pretty basic, inexpensive shoe. I’m grateful I don’t have any major issues that require me to purchase a more sophisticated (i.e. expensive) shoe. I am lucky to be able to find mine locally at Famous Footwear and I tend to buy two pair at a time when they run their BOGO 1/2 special so I have a backup when my first pair goes.
4. Wear Running Clothes.
I promise you that I have seen people running in street clothes. I don’t recommend it. You definitely want a good supportive sports bra (Old Navy has some good ones right now!), a lightweight tank (I prefer a cotton blend over straight “performance” fabric), and bottoms that work for you. I have never had “thigh gap” even when I was in high school and looked like this:
Consequently I don’t run in regular Nike running shorts. At least not without a pair of sliders underneath because: chaffage.
I also like a low profile sock but it has to have the roll lip on the back so that it won’t get “eaten” with each step I take. Like these:
5. Fuel Your Body
Your body needs fuel in order to work well. When you start going for longer runs (say over 6 miles), you will want some fuel during your runs. I really like Hammer Gels, or Honey Stinger waffles and gummies. Also be sure to hydrate! Keep a bottle of water handy, or scope out some water fountains. On really long runs I run with a handheld water bottle.
6. A Few Extra Tips…
As you know it’s crazy hot down here in Florida so training for a long fall race means that I need to be strategic. Here are a few more things I do to make summer training more bearable.
- Go out early. (I see people running during lunch in the middle of summer and I fully expect to see them on the evening news. It’s crazy! As I mentioned in my 8 Ways to Beat the Heat post, get out early to get your exercise out of the way. Besides Ither’es a greater chance that it will get done that way – and you won’t end up in the hospital with heat stroke.)
- Wear a hat. (It shields your eyes from the bright sun, obviously, but also keeps the rain out of your eyes if it starts raining, and it helps corral your hair if it’s windy or if your hair is shorter and you can’t put it in a ponytail. I like one specifically for running because the material is lightweight, breathable and often has mesh panels to help keep your head cool. Or I will wear a visor if my hair is longer.)
- Wear sunglasses. (If you have sensitive eyes, you’ll want to wear shades. Especially if you aren’t going out super early.)
- Carry a small washcloth. (Again, for those super hot, humid days, I like to carry a small washcloth. I specifically bought baby washcloths for this purpose. They are small and super soft. This is to wipe my face and elbows when the sweat is flowing.)
- Water in the car. (You’ll probably finish the water you are carrying so you’ll want a nice cold water waiting for you in the car. My Corkcicle is perfect for this.)
I hope you are inspired to train for a race this summer! You can pin this image to find my tips again and I really hope to see you at the Zooma Women’s Race Series in Amelia Island come October! If you do think you’ll join me, won’t you tell me in the comments? And tell me what race you’re going to do!
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