|Image from: http://www.gmrunningprograms.com/|
As many of you recall, I completed a half-marathon in November 2011. Set a goal, got off the couch and made it happen. It was like my personal couch-to-13.1 miles program. It was an amazing accomplishment and I'm so proud of myself for doing it. Since then, I haven't given a second thought about doing another one. Yes, it was great, but I feel like I did it, so I don't need to do it again... until this last week or so. I got to talking about my previous experience a bit and I realized that I need another goal and why not do it again!! I'm working on a few things and planning to register for a couple events near the end of the year.
Since it is National Running Day, I thought I would share a few different event options for you that might get you into running/jogging/walking. This worked for me (registering for an event and training for it), and got me motivated. I still walk regularly (at least 3-4 miles per week) and I'm looking forward to building my mileage again to train for some events!
Side note: I'm a walker. I don't run. I don't like running. I have no desire to run. I will, however, walk. I very much enjoy it and did walk the entire 13.1 miles of the aforementioned half-marathon. I'd love to do a post with some training suggestions/programs that I've used/looked into/researched but we all know how flaky I am about posting (sorry!) but here is one for walkers that I just came across today. Looks to be a great resource! http://www.marathonwalking.com/
Charity Walks: These are great! There are tons and tons all over the country that are available all year round. Usually these walks are 3-5 miles, but I've seen some that are 10 or 30 - 60 miles over several days. An wonderful way to get yourself in shape while you train, possibly raise money for a good cause, and have a great time!
Example: American Cancer Society Making Strides Breast Cancer Walk events - There are tons more! Check with the charity of your choice or search online. I'm looking to participate in a local charity event that is 3 days / 30 miles total in September.
5K or 10K races: Once you are ready to get a little more distance or a little more speed, check local running groups / sports shops for 5K (3.1 miles) or 10K (6.2 miles) races. Many cities have races like this around holidays or festivals. You can usually get a t-shirt and sometimes a medal too (you know I love free stuff!)
Check out the Runner's World Race Finder (lists all types of races!)
Half and Full Marathons: A half-marathon will cost you 13.1 miles of your life.. double that to 26.2 for the full. Guess what? It's not that horrible. There are tons of races available all over the country for marathoners. They usually have entertainment along the course and some fun event to celebrate at the end! I found this a great way to train. 13 miles might seem like a lot, but it's so easily doable - walking or running! Do watch out for time limits when you enter these events. Know your pace per mile and understand what pace you have to keep to stay on the course. Most that I have seen are 4 hours for the half and 7 hours for the full. That means you need to keep an 18:30 minute mile for the half and 16 mins for the full. You can do that!!
Example: Rock 'N Roll Marathon Series (this is the race I did last year in Savannah - sign up today to save $20!). Haven't decided if I will do this one again or if I will do the Lady's Speedstick Half that some friends are also doing. Also, use the Runner's World Race finder listed above to find events.
Obstacle Course Races: Need some stuff to get in your way while you run? Try an obstacle race! These races usually combine a 5K with various obstacles along the way. Obstacles are usually designed based on military training and could be a challenge. Full of dirt, mud and fun, seems like an awesome time. I've been thinking about trying one of these, but don't have the guts (yet!!).
Example: Tough Mudder Oh and there are ones with zombies too!
Triathlons: Need more than just a run? Want to swim and bike too? You are ready for a triathlon. With various distances, the triathlon includes a swim, cycle and run portion of the race. Some are in open water near a lake, river or ocean and some are held at a pool. These take lots of training but looks like lots of fun (I've spectated / volunteered a few, but haven't done one myself).
Search online for triathlons here: TriFind
So find a race and get registered and start training! There are tons of options online for training programs. There are APPS for that too! Check out a local running group. Oh and above all... get GOOD SHOES! Find a store that will fit you and purchase good shoes. It is totally worth investing $80-$100 for shoes that will support you and help you not get hurt! Don't slack on that part. GOOD SHOES!