My spring break starts a week from today. As a graduate student it’s less an actual break and more just a few extra hours free from classes, but I’m still ready for it. For now, on to my favorite links from the past week!
My second half marathon is next Saturday – my first was 6 (!!) years ago. As I approach this race feeling much better prepared than last time, I’ve been thinking about all the things I did sub-optimally last time. If you’re considering running a longer distance for the first time, here are some articles to help you avoid the mistakes I made as a newbie.
Mistake 1: not having a customized plan. I tried following some plan I found on the internet and ended up injured about a month before the race (probably due to multiple factors). While a free plan might be a good starting point, you need to be able to modify it for your specific needs. I was fairly new to running at the time and had no idea how to do this, or even that I needed to do it. In retrospect, I’d tell my past self to fit customized training into my budget. While 1-on-1 coaching is expensive, if you can afford running shoes, you can probably afford at least a customized training plan. And if you think running coaches are only for competitive runners, check out this article on what a running coach actually does.
Mistake 2: never running a truly easy pace. I made this mistake for several years, actually. When I finally made most of my runs easy, I ran more consistently, ran faster races, and ran longer distances. If it’s a struggle for you to slow down, check out these tips.
Mistake 3: no fueling during the race. I had no idea at the time that I needed this, but with a 2 1/2 hour finishing time, I definitely did! Here’s how to choose the best running fuel for you.
Mistake 4: not having a clue about injury prevention. I struggled with IT band syndrome off and on for probably 3 years after this race. If that’s your area of weakness as well, here’s a cure for IT band problems as well as exercises to improve function in that area.
I eat “pretty good”, by which I mean I eat a lot of vegetables…the other stuff matters too though. Do you really “eat pretty good” though?
The margin of error on food labels is 25%, and other things you probably didn’t know about calories.
In my field of work/study, you frequently get comments along the lines of “oh, that’s so hard. I could never do that.” It might be true that some of the things I do come more naturally to me than to the person saying that, but….it’s still hard. It would be boring if I only did the easy stuff. It’s not easy (nor should it be).
Joy isn’t always easy, either: fighting for your joy.
A compilation of real quotes from tourists at a national park. Best/saddest: “…It’s like a wilderness out there, not suitable for humans at all.”
Astronauts can now brew real coffee in space.
What were your favorite reads of the week?