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How to Train: Going the Distance

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The shopping is all done; you’re wearing brand new sneakers, a new watch, an iPod, and a new running outfit. You’re ready to head out the door and see how far you can go. STOP! Starting slowly with a training schedule is imperative.


Training Schedule.


There are many sources for training schedules. Take the time to look at schedules online, in magazines, or at your nearest running store. Also, the marathon that you’re training for may have one available.


You can choose to train by yourself or with a group. Obviously this is a very personal choice. If you choose to train with a group, review all of the training information and find the one that works best for you and your schedule. At first it can be quite daunting, as it seems like it will consume any and all of your free time. But I can tell you that once you get started, you won’t be able to wait for that moment of time to yourself. Plus let’s not forget about those endorphins! You can find some good training schedules at Team in Training, Jeff Galloway, marathontraining.com, and hahigdon.com.


Cross Training.


This is your chance to mix it up, whether it’s walking, cycling, mountain biking, swimming, yoga, Pilates, or strength training. Again, this is a very personal choice, but try different types of exercises and see which feels best. Take advantage of these days, as it will help strengthen your body for your training days. I’ve found that when I first start my training, the run/walking makes my muscles feel extremely tight so I lean on yoga in the beginning, and later I add weight training and cycling/spinning classes. Take it a step at a time and do what’s best for you and your body.


Rest Days and Music.


Even if you’re gung-ho and want to train every day, you have rest days so TAKE THEM! It’s important that your body reenergizes and repairs on these days.


I still remember thinking on my first days of training, “I know I can do two miles but how the hell am I going to get to twenty-six?!” For me, it’s all about the music. Which songs motivate you? Please share them by posting them in the comments section below.


 

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