Congratulations on making the decision to take part in the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon. Whether it’s your debut or you’re a regular participant the first step is setting a goal and working towards achieving a target.
It could be to run your first 10k, to get a personal best time or simply to complete the distance and cross the line in one piece. Whatever the aim there are plans to suit all levels so make sure you check out the training programmes on Vhiwomensminimarathon.ie to figure out what category suits you best – Walker (aiming to comfortably walk 10km), beginner runner (can run a short distance but wants to build up to a consistent jog for 10km) or improver runner (has already run 10km and is aiming for a time of 60 minutes or quicker).
Once you have selected a plan make sure you stick to it as accurately as possible – the main aim with 12 weeks to go is to increase your cardio vascualar activity and start building your fitness level so that by race day you will be in the best shape possible and there is no better feeling than being as prepared as you can and crossing the line with a smile on June 6th!
As with any training plan or fitness goal, you will encounter obstacles that may set you off track like injuries, holidays or lack of motiviation so now is the time to tackle these possible set backs and ensure they don’t happen.
To prevent injuries the first piece of advice is to make sure you are wearing the correct footwear. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a pair of trainers but it is worth investing in a decent pair now that will take you up to race day. Elvery’s offer free gait analysis which measures how you run/walk and can suggest the best type of footwear for you.
It is also crucial to stretch after each training session. There are a bank of stretches available on the website so make sure to stretch the main leg muscles – quads, hamstrings and calves. In addition to your Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon training it is always advised to do an extra cross training activity like cycling, swimming or a flexibility class like Yoga or Pilates.
Holidays can also scupper plans as we are out of routine and the temptation to overeat is increased. So with St Patrick’s Day around the corner and Easter hot on it’s heels, now is the time to decide what days you will train –perhaps make a commitment with a running/ walking buddy so that it is less likely you will miss out.
Speaking of training buddies, if you don’t already have one or have a group of friends to run/walk with then it would really help your progress if you did! Not only will it increase motivation, it’s a great social outlet and if there are different levels of fitness within the group you are more likely to increase pace to keep up with people.
Unfortunately due to busy lifestlye and unsocial working hours not everbody can commit to meeting others and have to train alone. As the evenings are getting brighter there is more of an opportunity to get out but if you do feel motivation is lacking perhaps bring your gear to work so that you have no choice but to run or walk home or head out as soon as you’re home instead of getting comfortable on the couch.
Whatever level you are at the good news is that you have plenty of time to get prepared so decide what plan you are going to follow even if you haven’t started training yet 12 weeks of consistent exercise will certainly get you in shape.
One final piece of advice for the over enthusiastic- try to avoid doing too much too soon...as important as it is to be prepared physically there is also a danger of over doing it. So ensure you take your rest days and if you are a beginner leave a day between each session to let your body recover and prevent injuries.
Most of all – enjoy it!