Posted by: Kennedy | June 18, 2010

It’s going to be a sweaty summer…

This week marks the beginning of my half marathon training – I am so excited!! Bring on the SPF 70 and sweat bands.

After I finished the 10k clinic at the Running Room last fall, I made an unofficial deal with myself that 2010 would be the year of my first half marathon. Now I’m back at RR, with Joanna in tow once again, going for group runs 3 times per week. Stay tuned for a post with my entire training plan… this kind of undertaking requires some serious organization and time management. It is not going to be easy!

A fond running memory, for motivation:

Me with my Sporting Life buddies! Joanna, Cathy & Patrick

Last night I met our coaches, Sam and Marie. Both have a LOT of half marathon experience – and they are both super energetic, which helps when I’m lacing up my sneakers, struggling to keep my eyes open after a long day at work.

Our group is massive – I guess I’m not the only person crazy enough to train for a 20+ km race during the hottest, stickiest, sweatiest months of the year. That’s weirdly comforting. If I experience a bout of heat exhaustion this summer, at least I won’t be alone in my suffering…

It’s hard to tell how many are actually registered. Last night was the free public practice run and there were probably extras at tonight’s “Bring a Buddy” themed clinic. It’s definitely not going to be as tight-knit as the 10k group, where there were only 10-15 of us who showed up consistently. Though I already miss some of my running buddies from the fall, I’m also looking forward to making some new ones!

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the distinctive features of Running Room clinics is the seminar they hold before the run, once a week. These proved very interesting and helpful in preparing me for the 10k. Tonight’s ‘talk’ was about choosing the right shoe for your foot. This is KEY for all runners. If you’re just starting out, one of the most important things you need to do before you get going is figure out your shoe needs. A professional or staff at a running specialty store can help you with this. Or, you can do it yourself by using the Wet Test.

I used to think I could choose a shoe based on how ‘pretty’ it was. Not so. Everyone’s feet and biomechanics are different; shoe producers know this and they design shoes that will help enhance your performance and prevent injury. If you’re running in a shoe with the wrong kind of support – or one that has been around the block a few too many times – you’ll be more likely to experience pain and have to stop running. Boooo.

I have flat feet. Therefore, I tend to pronate, and my feet turn over noticeably when I run. I make sure that my running shoes have some motion control built in through the arches, which helps promote stability and reduce my pronation.

I’m by no means an expert on any of this stuff, but having suffered a few injuries, I’ve taken an interest in doing anything I can to prevent them. They really suck. I’d much rather just buy the uglier shoes.

The last time I bought new shoes was last November, during the 10k training. That was seven months ago. But I also took two breaks from running that lasted a combined three months. So I’m in decent shape for now, but I’ll be investing in a new pair very soon.

They say you should replace your shoes every 500-800 kms, which can range anywhere from 3-6 months for a regular runner. In tonight’s clinic I discovered that in training between now and late September, we’ll cover just over 540 kms. Folks training for the full marathon will run over 800 kms in that same time. YIKES.

When it’s put like that, it scares the crap out of me!! That means that over the next three months, I will be running the distance between Toronto and New York City. People FLY there. Scary! Although… it will be pretty fun to whip that little fun fact out at the next cocktail party I attend. 🙂

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