I’ve Registered, Now What?

This is my last post before we ring in 2013, and I am going to take this opportunity to remind you all that registration opens for The North Face Whistler Half Marathon on January 1 at 9am. The 2013 event has expanded to include a 10km option, as well as the return of the Little Rippers children’s race. There is something for everyone, and the 2012 half marathon event sold out by the end of January – don’t miss out!

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Some of The North Face Whistler Half Marathon intermediate training group from 2012, coming up Blueberry Hill

Once you’ve registered, then what? Time to figure out a training plan. Check out the Training tab on our page for all the details on the run clinics; Whistler runners are fortunate enough to have the guidance of Christine Suter for our training clinic, and this year there are a few running stores throughout the Lower Mainland and Victoria that are also offering training clinics to get you to the start line on race day no matter what level you are lacing up at.

Another thing to start thinking about is your nutrition plan. Runners are creatures of habit, and for good reason because there is nothing more distressing than dealing with mid-race “issues” (of many varieties, so I won’t go all TMI here) because you decided that race day was the perfect time to try that new eggs benedict with a side of bacon-wrapped sausage recipe that you found on Pinterest. Start now to play with what works for you; pre-run, during the run, for post-run recovery, the night before, even days two/three/four leading up to a run. In short, what you eat will affect performance in one way or another so make sure you start early in training so that you have nutrition dialled (read: no surprises) come June 1.

Don’t go out with too much/too fast too soon. Especially if you’re a first timer, or maybe you used to run and back then you could just go out and complete 10km anytime you felt like it, unless you’ve been running on a regular basis for a few months going out for that 10km distance right off the hop isn’t going to help you at all. Start with shorter distances/times and build from there, and start now so that you have a good base come the start of that 12-week training program (the week of March 16 if anyone is counting).

Make sure to get rest/recovery and a cross-training/strength plan into your routine. For the beginner training for a half marathon will sound like the only thing you need to do is run, and probably often. Not so. Rest and cross-training are essential. If you have imbalances that you’ve been working on or things that you know “act up” when you run make sure to work on keeping yourself strong through training. And yes, complete rest days are there for a reason – use them!

Let it go. We get sick, we have bad runs, we get hurt, we miss runs; it’s okay, just let it go. It’s a long road to the start line and that road is full of ups and downs – and I don’t just mean Blueberry Hill. I actually missed two (separate) entire weeks of training due to having flu-like symptoms last year, but because I allowed myself to take the time to recover I still managed to arrive at the start line on race day well-trained and well-rested. Listening to your body and accepting that you will run into a few obstacles throughout training are all a part of the game; it contributes to the mental toughness required to get through 21.1 km.

Smile. Running is fun! You haven’t registered for this because you want to have a miserable time, you’re in this to have fun. So have a good time, darn it.

See you out there!

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