Fitness resolutions are part of the holiday tradition. They are easily abandoned, if you don’t have a goal. The Mini-Marathon offers the incentive to start a training program and then stick with it.
I don’t run because I love it. I do like getting outside and challenging myself. But, I run because I eat. I allow myself a little more freedom to enjoy some treats because I plan to burn it off over the following days. (Rationalizing is a wonderful thing!)
Knowing that every year brings new participants to the Mini, we’re resuming my Mini-Marathon training blog. Entry #1 offers training resolutions from Heather Fink, a tremendous athlete, a registered dietitian, and the Assistant Director for Educational Services at NIFS.
1.) Start training in January – many people start their training for the Mini in March, once the weather begins to improve in central Indiana. However, if you wait until March, then you only have 6-8 weeks to train which is not enough time to train properly for a half marathon. I recommend at least 14 weeks of training to allow for a slow progression of long run/walks, as well as several recovery weeks throughout the training.
2.) Be consistent with your training – While individuals may have good intentions about starting their training early in January, if they are not consistent with their training on a weekly basis, then they will not be fully prepared for the race. By starting early, and being diligent with your training, you will perform better, feel better and stay safe during the Mini Marathon.
3.) Have FUN!! – Oftentimes, runners/walkers will feel like their training has become a part-time (for some, a second full-time!) job. Remember that exercise is meant to be part of your recreation time, thus it is supposed to be fun! Enjoy the whole experience – the long walks/runs, determining your race day nutrition plan, selecting the best clothes for race day, battling the elements (weather), etc. Everyone will have ups and downs during their training, but overall, choose to make it a fantastic experience!
I’ll present other training advice of my own — or suggestions from people such as Heather — between now and the day of the Mini. If you don’t have access to an expert, feel free to send me questions and I’ll get some answers for you.