Training for Your First Race: An 8 Week-Plan
This race training program can have almost any runner ready in a couple of months.
4. Training for a Race: Know Your Race
Get familiar with the course you will run, and train accordingly. If the
course is hilly, train on hills or you could end up with a calf problem. If
it's a trail race, practice trail running, since trail courses are much more
unstable than those made of asphalt.
"Your race environment determines a lot of your training
environment," says Pittsley.
Besides knowing the course -- and perhaps even running it, if it's
accessible -- it's a good idea to know the general conditions of the race. Try
to determine what the temperature is likely to be when you run, how many
runners there will be, and where the water stations are.
5. Training for a Race: Stick to the Program
Develop a race training schedule of your own, or use the schedule below -
and stick to it.
"If you do the mileage and the workouts, you'll be successful," says
Many people skip the practice runs but if you do that, you will suffer on
race day. You won't be prepared, and it will take more of a toll on your
6. Training for a Race: Cross Train
Just because you're training for a race, says Julie Isphording, "don't
become one-dimensional. Cross training and doing other things like light weight
lifting, swimming, yoga, Pilates or other functional training on your off days
is very important."
Cross training days allow your running muscles a chance to recover.
7. Training for a Race: Eat Healthfully
Nourish your body, says Isphording. You are working out more, so you'll need
to consume more calories to repair muscle and build strength.
But choose the right foods. Don't fill up on empty calories. Opt for complex
carbohydrates and proteins and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Listen to your body, Isphording adds.
"You'll start to crave (fruits and vegetables) as you put these extra
demands on the body," she says.
8. Training for a Race: Find Support
It's always easier to train if you have a running buddy. When you have
a partner, there's less of a chance of letting the demands of life get in the
way of training, says Isphording. Your running buddy will help get you out the
door on the days when you don't even feel like putting on your running
9. Training for a Race: Run Safe
If you are running after dark, wear reflective clothing and run in
well-lighted areas as much as possible. Run on indoor or lighted tracks if you