Looking for a new challenge and a wonderful way to get in shape? I recommend training for a half marathon! It may sound crazy, but I’m here to tell you that even non-runners can overcome this 13.1-mile challenge!
I’ll use my own experience as evidence. In high school I participated in crew (rowing) for four years and found it really difficult to adhere to a workout schedule once I was on my own at OSU. I took a few PAC classes and made the trip to Dixon Recreation only occasionally over my first two years as a Beaver. After returning from studying abroad in Fall 2013, my roommate convinced me to train with her for the Corvallis Half Marathon. To be honest, I’m still perplexed as to how she persuaded me to even begin running, but I am forever grateful for her efforts!
Running is not only one of the best cardiovascular workouts out there, but it can also be a completely freeing experience. Working out in any capacity allows you to clear your mind and re-center your energy—something very useful amongst all of the midterms and the dreary winter days. Another plus is that training for such a long distance competition allows runners to explore their local area! I have discovered parts of Corvallis on my runs that I would never have seen otherwise. One of my favorite routes involves the bike path on Campus Way that goes out to the covered bridge, so check that out if you decide to train!
My roommate and I at the finish line after running the Corvallis Half Marathon in April 2013. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention you get to finish on the 50 yard line of Reser Stadium? How incredible is that?!
There are countless half marathon training schedules you can find just by searching the web, but no matter what the exact format there is a typical set of components that are included:
In ONE week you will:
Run 2-3 short runs
Cross train once (swimming, biking etc.)
Strengthen twice (weights or abs)
Run one LONG run (*these typically increase by 1 mile each week)
Rest one day
I personally have used Hal Higdon’s Training Guide—check it out!
I’m not going to say that fitting this amount of running into my already busy schedule as a full-time student with a part-time job has been easy, but I will say that it has been worth it. The amount of time you spend running is time spent caring for both your body and mind. I find that after I run even 2 or 3 miles I return home feeling recharged and ready to tackle whatever lies ahead, including my academics.
I’m currently training for the Corvallis Half for the second time (this year it is on April 13th!) and couldn’t be enjoying it more! Besides being an incredibly useful stress reliever, having a training program assures me that I am capable of setting goals and achieving them, and guess what? YOU ARE TOO! So grab a couple friends, lace up your running shoes, and hit the ground running!
While you embark on this new and exciting challenge, here are a few more recommendations from a slightly experienced runner.
– Training involves finding the right running diet for you (i.e. what to eat before and after your workouts). Don’t be afraid to experiment!
– For quality shoes and a store full of salespeople who will help analyze your running stride, check out Gallagher Fitness in Salem.
– Listening to books on tape while running is AWESOME (especially once you’re distances surpass the 6 mile mark)
– Use the Map My Run website and phone app! It’s the simplest way to plan out various routes around town!