You may have found that you currently have a yearn to achieve something greater in your running and attempt to do a half or full marathon. If you are a regular runner and happy with distances of five kilometers or more then it is a logical step up.
However, your current training regime may just be a couple of stretches then lace up your running shoes and hit the streets. But if you hope to tackle longer distances that you must have more preparation than this. But when you start to spend more time out on the road you will start to notice a few things that happen.
Soreness of Muscles
Your body is great at adapting to different types of exercise and different lengths of time that you exercise. But it does take time for it to adapt. So if your body is used to running three kilometers and you push it further than that then your muscles will be sore afterwards. Some people are puzzled by this as they regularly run, but running longer distances means that you are working your muscles harder than usual. Mostly the culprit for additional pain comes in the form of lactic acid, so by running longer you are developing more lactic acid and the pain that can come from that.
You Need to be Stronger
When you lengthen the time, you are hitting the streets you are also prolonging the impact that your body, joints and muscles are taking. The hips especially take a lot of pounding as well as the legs, knees and ankles. Often you may find yourself limping after a long run, and the only way you can prevent this from happening is by strengthening the muscles and tissues around the joints. Add gym sessions to your running to build up your core and overall body. There are specific exercises that you should be looking at such as hip thrusts, lunges and dead-lifts. Squats are particularly good for the thighs and legs, and gradually you will feel less sore after your longer running training.
Practice Your Technique
The way you run will have a definite impact to how your body will feel after exercise, you should constantly be checking that your running technique is correct. It is not a bad idea to sign up for one or two running classes and get a professional to help you with your technique and iron out any problem areas.The best way to propel yourself forward is on the balls of your feet, but for pounding mile after mile in a half-marathon you will need to apply a flatter feet position. Go back and learn the basics, what is the proper posture for long distance running, and how to swing your arms to help movement.
Improving your running technique also has one other big advantage, it helps you stay clear of injuries. There are many wrong running gaits that can damage you joints and perfecting your running style will help you stay away from associated problems. In part two we look at even more surprises that may come your way when you start training for running half-marathons.