Your steps to a successful finish at the Perkins Great Eastern Run!
A half marathon really is a great racing distance. It's far enough to be a stretch but without the extra training demands of a full marathon. If this is your first crack at a half marathon then don't be daunted by the distance. It's a perfect way to stretch a few boundaries, run further or faster than before, and can be a very realistic and achievable goal for you to work towards. At the same time don't take it lightly though and think you can toe the start line ill prepared. The half marathon will find you out if you've not done sufficient training to go the distance.
Why bother with running?
Regular running helps reduce stress but also delays the onset of aging by boosting circulation to your skin, improving your complexion and maintaining muscle tone and flexibility.Running doesn't only benefit you on the outside but also on the inside. It keeps heart and bones strong, reduces cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, controls body weight, improves posture, boosts your immunity and keeps your circulation healthy.It gives you more than just physical benefits. Running makes you feel more positive, energised, empowered, motivated and ready to face the world!Running is not time intensive, it burns more calories per minute than other forms of aerobic exercise, it's accessible, it's simple, you don't need a huge array of fancy kit just a good pair of trainers and some comfortable clothing and away you go.
You can do it
The hardest steps to take for many runners (novice or experienced) are the first ones up off the sofa and out of the front door! The greatest hurdle is making that first commitment. Taking those first tentative steps outside in running shoes and getting going is easy once you've decided you want, and can, do it.
Don't be daunted by the prospect of getting started.
- A good pair of correctly fitting running shoes. Best bought from a specialised running retailer.
- A lightweight, breathable, functional tee shirt. (not cotton)
- Shorts/leggings/tracksuit bottoms that you feel comfortable in.
- A lightweight jacket /gilet.
- Sports socks.
- A big bag full of desire and motivation!
When buying a pair of shoes you need to have realistic and reasonable expectations. As with all products, whether a running shoe, car or television you get what you pay for. A cheaper pair will not perform as well as a more expensive pair, but as the price goes higher the gains in performance get smaller. You don't need to buy the most expensive pair of running shoes for them to do a brilliant job. A mid range pair will certainly get you going.
The most important thing is to find a pair that fit you well. Shoes should not be too tight around the heel or the toes, neither should they be too loose and slip off your feet at the back or be very roomy at the front. Do not expect the first pair you try on to be the right ones. Do not be afraid to try half the shop on before making a final decision.
Shoes vary in characteristics as well as fit. Getting the right pair of shoes will reduce your risk of injury and help to correct some biomechanical faults you may have, so take the time to make the right choice. It is worth going to a reputable specialist running retailer to buy your shoes. Take a pair of your old shoes with you; they will probably look at these to see how the upper and the sole have worn, they may look at your feet, ask you questions about any injuries, current or previous, and your training and they may also watch you run. Without asking these types of questions it is hard to point someone towards the right pair of shoes. The specialist retailer will probably suggest a shortlist of shoes for you to try on.
It is a good idea to have several pairs of trainers (for example, a pair of trail shoes and a pair of supportive road runners) and wear them for different runs. That way you don't always run in the same pair of shoes. You could always buy two pairs of the same type of shoe is you discover a brand and model that suits you particularly well.
How to run
Great running doesn't need to look pretty! Although some runners seem to naturally flow effortlessly and ooze style, balance and flow others are more ungainly, less 'polished' and a little more 'unique! There are no style prizes in running. What matters most is not what you look like but the fact that you are out there doing it!
Form and posture pointers:
- Keep your head relaxed and steady
- Let your shoulders hang naturally. Don't hunch.
- Bend your arms to 90 degrees by your sides and allow them to swing freely backwards and forwards close to your body like a pendulum.
- Keep your body upright
- Keep your knees, hips and lower legs in a forward line.
- Most of all – feel relaxed, balanced and in control!