With the Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon 10K & 5K just two weeks away (and yes, there’s still time to sign up), you’re down to the home stretch on training. I suggest doing a couple of big training runs, but also taking it easier in between. The last thing you want is an injury at the last minute! Two weeks before the half, I do a 12-13 mile run, and one week before I do 8 to 10 miles. Those are my long runs; I also try to run 3 to 5 miles several times a week. The day before the run, I do a light run of 2 to 3 miles if I feel up to it; if not, I just rest. A few more tips:
Warm Ups Are Even More Important Now
Don’t forget to warm up, then stretch, run your course, cool down and stretch again. It’s not a good idea to stretch cold muscles, so do a 5-10min warm-up run to loosen up your muscles. Then stop and stretch for 5-10 minutes. After your run, do a cool down run for 5 min and then stretch for another 5-10 minutes. Remember to listen to your body. If you’re tired and need to rest, walk.
Take Care of Your Feet
Do spend money on good shoes; that’s very important to me and my feet. Gait is extremely important, so don’t just buy any shoes, to to a running specialty store and get your foot and running style evaluated so you can purchase shoes that are right for your feet. If you’re not satisfied with your current shoes, take care of this as soon as possible, as I don’t suggest trying new shoes day of race. I also wear a good pair of snug dri-release (synthetic) running socks. It’s very irritating if they’re loose and you have to constantly pull them up during the run.
What Are You Going to Wear? It’s Time to Plan It Out
I like to wear light clothing because I find that I get warm pretty quickly. I wear shorts and a short-sleeve tee or tank top. If it’s cold or looks like rain, I’ll wear tight-fitting running pants and a light zip-up jacket over my shirt; light enough to take off and tie around my waste without it feeling heavy. I don’t suggest wearing a sweatshirt or sweatpants; they’re too bulky and may weigh you down. (You may not feel it the first couple miles, but by mile five or six, you’ll feel like chucking it!) I choose running shorts or pants that have a zipper for a phone and ID. You should always have your ID when you’re out running, and carrying a phone is a really good idea as well.
Remember to keep your body fueled and well-hydrated when you’re training hard. The night before I’m planning a long training run, I try to eat a meal high in complex carbs that also contains some protein. If I get up early enough, I eat a smaller but similar meal about two hours before I run. It’s also a good idea to carry a carb snack such as a bar or goo.