Dec. 1 marked the registration opening for the fourth-annual Plattsburgh Half Marathon.
If you start now, you can give your body the time it needs to adapt to what lies ahead. There are many ways to train for an endurance race, but a few constants must be followed if you want to give your best on the day of the race. The main focuses should be progression, technique and rest in order to prevent injury to your body and reach your goals.
Wearing a decent pair of shoes is very important. Make sure you pick a pair that complements the arch of your foot and keeps your ankle neutral. If you start running without proper foot support, you will be setting yourself up for an injury in the near future. If you begin experiencing knee or back pain when running, try looking at the type of shoe you are wearing. This isn’t always the answer, but it can be a quick fix in some instances.
Proper form should be practiced from the beginning. If you ever change your form or posture while running, you most likely have to lower your mileage a bit to adapt to the new technique. If you don’t, the muscles that are used during the new technique will be overwhelmed. Some key points to good technique when running include keeping your chin level, shoulders back, chest up and back neutral. Keep your shoulders from hiking upwards toward your ears and your elbows set at or slightly less than 90 degrees. As for the lower body, make sure your foot strike is directly under your hips and as quiet as possible. If you tend to land more in front of your hips, you risk hamstring injury. These tips can be helpful, but honestly, it is difficult to really explain running form through a written article. The best thing to do is find a qualified coach who can teach you these types of patterns.