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How to start running and prepare for a half marathon

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The arrival of spring coincides with the starting signals of the first marathons of the year. He Next April 3, the Barcelona and Madrid half marathons will be held, which will be followed by other provincial capitals. The trainers at the Urban Sports Clubs gyms encourage their runners, and those who want to start running, to get in shape. “We still have time,” they say.

When running, more than two hundred muscles, bones and joints are put into action. At the same time, the respiratory system and heart work at full speed. The whole body is involved in the effort.

That’s why, Before starting the race, sports experts advise ensuring good health, going to the specialist and carrying out a prior check-up. Above all, if start from scratch or it has been a long time since you have practiced sports with a certain intensity.

Other activities

Running is an activity that requires a lot of energy, not only for movement, but also to maintain balance on one leg with each step and at the same time, keep the trunk upright. In addition to the superficial muscles, the deep muscles also work (core, hip stabilizers, spine, respiratory muscles, etc.). Therefore, specialists encourage combine this practice with other activities physical. Also, dedicate at least five minutes to stretching and warming up, before and after the race.

“A person who wants to start running and also prepare for a half marathon must take into account a prior period of conditioning between 12 and 16 weeks. “We advise starting to add kilometers very progressively, with recovery between each stimulus and trying to improve the time each week or increase the distance of the race,” he says. Mauricio de la Rosa, PT director & Head coach of FitPack, partner of Urban Sports Club.

“A plan to start running is based on a progression in the number of kilometers that are done each week, with a frequency of at least two or three times a week. It is advisable to have variations, in terms of the type of terrain or the intensities. The combination between flat terrain, with varied slopes and at different speeds They are important for the development of physical fitness. In addition, we recommend complementing with functional training to develop a balanced, strong and agile body,” adds the trainer.

CaCo method to get started

Once you have put on your sports shoes, it is interesting to start with the so-called Ca-Co technique, that is, alternating walking and running in the same session. At the beginning it is advisable to look for slower rhythms and shorter distances, progressing each week, both in duration or distance, and in intensity or speed.

A good way to start and prepare for the demanding effort of running is to do thirty minutes at a good pace each day, the so-called power walking.

“The CaCo method is a Fartlek either interval training to improve endurance and speed. It is about changing speed rhythms between walking and running. It is also advisable to run gently and sprint. These methods help the athlete improve oxygen consumption and maximum aerobic speed, allowing the runner to improve their race time. The most important thing when training towards a goal is to focus on the principle of variability and the principle of progressivity,” concludes de la Rosa.

For those who already go running every day between 20 and 30 minutes of running, the coach in Re-educate Studio, Raúl Higuero, partner of Urban Sports Clubassures that they may need between four and five months to prepare for the half marathon.

“For someone who is starting to run from scratch, we advise them to set achievable goals, and not to be in a hurry to achieve them. You need to be strong to run, because there are many impacts and prepare your muscles to withstand them. So one day of strength a week It is mandatory for all runners. And finally, be careful with training volumes, more is not better,” says Raúl.

“CaCo-type protocols, walking and running, are a very interesting way to start. We use them for people who are starting out and our recommendation is that once we manage to run for 20 or 25 minutes straight, the The next step is to run those minutes faster, and not try to run longer.”, he concludes.

For Pablo Imizcoz Garcia, CEO of Valenfit, if we use the CaCo method, “it is recommended that the walking time be double the running time at the beginning. For example, five minutes of walking and two and a half of running to go up. progressively the running time and reducing the walking time. The first days, do not exceed half an hour in total,” he concludes.

What should a session be like?

A training session should consist of three basic parts:

  1. Warm up with joint mobility for 5 or 10 minutes at a gentle jog.
  2. Dynamic stretching for muscle activation.
  3. Development: Here the main work of training is carried out in accordance with the planning, both in the number of kilometers to be traveled and in the method.
  4. Final part of the training, which consists of a gentle regenerative jog and general stretching.

For Raúl Higuera, “in this pre-race preparation, we advocate reducing the volume of running and increasing strength work. The warm-up consists of a quality run-in prior to work and the same return to calm. Stretching if you like it and it feels good is great, but it will not improve recovery, nor will it be useful for warming up, but if you like it, do it,” he says.

Appropriate clothing

He running It is an activity that does not require much equipment. “The most important thing is footwear, since it is a high-impact sport. As for the rest, it is enough that the athlete feels comfortable with the clothing. We recommend that you always use the same equipment that will be used on the day of the race, since trying new things on the day of the competition is very risky,” confirms Mauricio de la Rosa.

“Our main recommendation is that the shoe adapts to the foot, and not the other way around. Look for a last that is comfortable for you and respects the shape of the foot as much as possible, avoiding very closed toe boxes. The issue of heel drop and cushioning are now more personal. My advice is that if a shoe suits you very well, buy it until they stop making them,” says Raúl Higuero.

How should you run

-Pay attention to the place where you are going to run and the environment. Avoid very steep slopes and very short circuits. Choose open spaces, which are not, for example, a promenade.

-Discover what type of footprint you have: Neutral, pronating or supinating, which will help you correct it, through the use of insoles or corrective supports, and find the appropriate footwear. Don’t forget a good technical sock, which will prevent possible blisters or chafing.

-Make sure that you do not land on your heels during the stride, as the impact will go directly to your knees. However, if you land on the middle of the sole of your foot, then you will be getting a good exercise.

-Rhythm and distance are important, and they always have to go from less to more. In a phased manner and without haste.

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