Staying hydrated, eating right, and building distance are all part of a smart training plan.

3-Weeks to Go! A Training Plan for the Half Marathon & 5K

With the Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon & 5K three weeks away (and yes, there’s still time to sign up), miles should be increasing the next couple of weeks. Here’s a suggested workup for the Half Marathon:

  • 3 weeks before half: 10-12
  • 2 weeks before half: 12-13
  • 1 week before half: 8-10
  • The week before: 3-4 days:  3- 5 miles
  • The day before: light 2-3 miles or rest

Tips for Longer Training Runs

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. If you’re a beginning runner or haven’t run in years, don’t dig up your old gym shoes or Converses. Go 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.

Dress for Distance

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.

Fuel Up

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.

Veteran marathon runner Jodi Thirtyacre works for Kaiser Permanente as the manager of the Department of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology at the San Francisco Medical Center. Jodi began running when she was only nine and ran track in high school. She kept up her regimen in college and ran her first marathon at 21. Jodi is the captain of Kaiser Permanente's teams for the Half Marathon and 5K.