Local fitness expert Fred Klinge has designed Jazz Half training plans for both beginning and experienced runners. Both schedules incorporate two or three rest days each week to allow time for recovery and minimize the risk of overtraining.
The Basic Training Schedule builds over 19 weeks from a long run of 4 miles to 12 miles. The Advanced Training Schedule is shorter and assumes a solid fitness and mileage base. Weekly tempo workouts and a long run each Saturday form the basis for this plan.
Words of Wisdom
Rest when the training schedule says rest. Sometimes endurance athletes have a tendency to believe more is always better. Not so when it comes to training for a longer race, e.g., the Jazz Half-marathon, during the warm summer months. If you've taken the time to layout a carefully planned training schedule, abide by that schedule and rest when the schedule says rest.
Am I overtraining? Quite often we runners are walking the fine line between being highly condition or being fatigued and exhausted. There are two physiological conditions that might indicate you're overtraining bouts of insomnia and an elevated pulse rate in the morning. If you're have trouble sleeping and noticing your morning heart rate is higher than normal, take a few rest days and allow your system to recover.
First things first. Whether you're a seasoned road racing veteran or brand new to running races, start your training program off by visiting a specialty running store. Running is a relatively inexpensive sport, and it's important you don't skimp when it comes to training in quality running shoes in good condition. Take an old pair of shoes with you to the running store to help the staff evaluate your wear pattern and gait cycle. While training in the heat and humidity of summer it's a good idea to alternate between two pair of new shoes. Once you hit the 500-mile mark on a pair of shoes it's time to retire them from the roads.
There's fun in numbers! Training for the 2013 Jazz Half Marathon can be either a solitary or social experience. Training with a partner or a group with similar training goals can provide support, humor, structure, information exchange, and sometimes professional coaching.
Keep a training journal. If you're training for your first half marathon I highly recommend keeping a training log. Take the time to keep a written record of your training session—a training log. Keeping a written record of distance, time, shoe model worn, weather conditions, route, and perceived exertion level can provide a wealth of valuable information for future training cycles to come. A written training log can also help identify factors triggering injury problems, reveal training methods that worked best resulting in a great race, and provide tangible proof of a job well done.
Cross-training. To run a half-marathon successfully one must train the necessary mileage leading up to race day. This time-test method is referred to as "sport specific training." Cross-training is a term that refers to adding supplemental cardiovascular exercise modes to your running or walking program—activities like swimming, bicycling, yoga class, or using the elliptical trainer at the gym. Cross-training can be very beneficial to runners and walkers that are just starting to build their mileage base. It can help prevent overuse injuries by helping maintain a balance of strength from head to toe.
What kind of snacks should I eat before training or racing?
- Eating a snack one hour before a competition or workout will keep you from getting hungry and stabilize your blood sugar. It's a good idea to avoid snacks consisting of simple sugars (candy, soda, etc.) and opt for healthy, complex carbohydrate snacks (whole grain bagel or chips, etc).
- The kind of snack you should choose before a competition depends on how long you will be exercising. For competitions lasting longer than one hour choose carbohydrates that digest slowly. Examples include yogurt, bananas, cereal with milk, apples, and energy bars. If you are exercising for less than one hour, choose carbohydrates that digest quickly, e.g., whole grain crackers, bagel, or English muffin. One hour before exercise eat one gram of carbohydrate for each kilogram of your body weight (1 kilogram = 2.2 lbs., if you weigh 165 lbs, your weight in kg will be 165 / 2.2 = 75 kg).
- Avoid foods high in fat, simple sugars, or fiber before exercising. Some examples of high fat foods include cheeseburgers, French fries, and ice cream. These foods can take longer to digest and may cause stomach distress during exercise. It's also smart to avoid sugary foods before an athletic event or workout. High sugar foods may cause your blood sugar level to drop quickly during exercise, causing dizziness and sometimes feinting. High fiber foods may cause gas and stomach discomfort for some people.
- Stick with snack foods you are used to eating. It's best not to try a new food before a race. Certain foods may cause stomach cramping, gas, or diarrhea.