Runner’s World September 2005
By Jeff Galloway
Q. What does "listen to your body" mean?
A. When I advise runners to listen to their body, I’m suggesting
that they learn to recognize how their body signals fatigue or injury.
Most important in "listening" is to decipher whether
you are experiencing really pain or just the discomfort of fatigue.
Usually the strain you feel while running is caused when you’ve
exceeded your speed or distance limits for the day. This is a natural
part of training. Some minor aches and fatigue may linger for several
days after. If so, take a couple easy days. In contrast, distinct
pain in an area, swelling, or loss of function in a specific region
signals a more serious situation. To prevent it from becoming a
full-blown injury, take at least two days off from running.
The longer you run, the better you’ll get a reading the signs
of injury or fatigue.
Tips For Toeing The Line The First Time
You’re bound to feel more comfortable at your first race if
you’re aware of certain established race procedures.
Expect A Crowd. Don’t be discouraged by the lines at the port-a-johns;
they move pretty fast. Hint: The longest lines occur within 20 to
30 minutes before race start, so go earlier or later.
Get In Back. Clear the way for faster, more experienced runner by
lining up closer to the back of the pack at the start. If you’re
taking walk breaks, stay to one side of the road or walk on the
Pass Politely. Unless you’re duking it out for prize money,
it’s best to show courtesy as you pass people. Very early
in the race you may feel boxed in by a slower group. Be patient.
Soon there will be opening that will allow you to gradually weave
your way through the crowd without elbowing fellow racers.
Think When You Drink. At most races, each fluid station has several
table - some with water and others with sports drink. Ask the race
volunteers which tables are which. If the first table you approach
is crowded, run past it to a less crowded one when you get your
cup, quickly move past the tables to the side of the road. Leave
the middle of the road clear for runners who aren’t stopping
3-Day Half-Marathon Plan
(No Time? No Worries!)
The half-marathon has become a popular race distance. Training for
one presents a wonderful challenge, yet allows a good balance between
work, training, and family time. First-time half-marathoners training
to go the distance can do so with only three runs per week.
The long run is key. Every other week, increase the length of your
long run by one to two miles. Keep the pace at least two minutes
per mile slower than your expected race-day pace. Build up to one
14-miler two weeks before the race. On the non-long-run weekends,
run half the distance or your current long run. In addition to the
long run, schedule two weekly "maintenance" runs of at
least 30 minutes (Tuesday and Thursday, for example with a long
run on Saturday) at your regular training pace.
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