Long runs have long been regarded as a healthy physical activity that can extend the aerobic benefits of your workouts. It is also an effective way to help you maintain your running stamina and develop your mental strength. Aside from increasing endurance and building strength, long runs can help you gain a sense of accomplishment, especially if you are joining 12k marathons. This type of activity is perfect for beginners and intermediate runners.
Are you planning to join a 12k running race soon? Check out our tips below to help you prepare and train better for the big event.
Follow a Training Plan
The first and most important step in preparing for a 12k run is your training plan as this will provide you with a solid guide in building your running strength and endurance. There are several available training plans that you can find on the internet. However, you do not have to strictly stick to one plan at all. Feel free to modify the training plan based on your preference and capacity. Remember the success of your 12k run does not solely depend on your physical fitness but also your commitment to your training plan so make sure that you are comfortable with the training plan you have chosen. Also, keep in mind that consistency is more powerful than frequency.
Wear the Correct Footwear
Another important factor in your 12k run preparation is your running gear. Although running is a simple activity, this does not mean that you should just wear any type of footwear. First, you have to ensure that your running gear, especially your footwear, is best suited for the weather and running conditions. If you have high arches, for instance, you might want to consider checking out specialized insoles. As the reviews on this site explain, choosing an orthotic insert that is both breathable and supportive can provide pain relief and boost your level of comfort while running long distances. When preparing your running gear, the most vital wearable item you have to prioritize is your footwear. The perfect running shoes should provide you protection, injury prevention, and most importantly, comfort. So see to it that what you will be wearing covers all those factors.
Invest in the Right Running Gear
Apart from your running shoes, you must also be equipped with the right set of running clothes and protective accessories. Your shirts should be reasonably fit and not body-hugging. If you are running during the colder season, wear tights, but if not, opt for shorts. Wearing running socks are also highly recommended. For women, investing in a good sports bra is also a must. Lastly, make sure to wear sunglasses for your eye protection and hats especially during the warmer season.
Eat Healthy and Stay Hydrated
Your nutrition plan is as equally important as your training plan. You have to remember that your fitness level plays a huge role in your energy levels, running strength, and endurance. If you are not eating healthy, then this will most likely negatively affect your running performance. Typically, you should stay fueled before, during, and after your running activity to improve your workout, help you recover faster, and boost your immunity. However, make sure that you leave a gap between your meals and your exercises to allow digestion. You should also never skip breakfast and make sure to include good quality protein in your diet. Because running results in constant sweat loss, you should also see to it that you remain hydrated all throughout the day. Take note that you will have a greater fluid requirement when you are training so always keep a bottle of water with you.
Practice Stretching Exercises
Your training plan should not only focus on speed, strength, and endurance; you also have to work on your flexibility. Research has found that becoming more flexible helps you run better as it reduces your risk of injury while running. As a runner, you need to work on keeping the major muscles of your lower body flexible. You can do this by practicing yoga and other low impact exercises. Apart from that, it is also important to optimize your post-workout stretching sessions by allowing time for relaxation then easing into a stretch position. Expect to feel a tightness or tension but never push your body beyond the limits.
Preparing for your 12k run requires careful planning. During this stage, you have to make sure that your training plan is tailored to help you build up your flexibility and strength. To optimize your running performance, maintaining healthy habits is also essential. And, of course, you can’t forget about the proper attire and footwear.