But how do you know you are ready to tackle some of the longer distances? Here is a look at a few questions to ask yourself to see if you are ready to jump to the next race distance!
Has your training been consistent? While it is tempting to start training for a longer distance after catching the “running bug”, you need to make sure that your training has been consistent. It is recommended that runners have been running at least 6 months, with training of at least 3 runs per week in place prior to training for the longer distances. If you are thinking about a marathon, more running experience definitely helps as well. Make sure that your body is used to a consistent training plan before jumping to the bigger race distances!
Do you have the time to devote to longer distances? Training for a half marathon, marathon or even a runDisney challenge means a lot of time on the road! Make sure that you do a little research about how much time your long runs will take you during the weekends (along with your weekday runs) and see if your schedule can handle it. For those jumping to the marathon distance, not only will your long runs be 2, 3 or even 4 hours in length, your weekday runs may be over an hour as well.
Can your body handle the longer distances? One thing we all want to avoid is injury. If your body tends to have quite a few aches and pains during the shorter distances, definitely set up an appointment with your doctor to see if your body is ready for the longer distances. While training for a longer distance, pay even closer attention to your body, making sure you give it rest when it needs it. It will be taking quite the pounding as you increase the mileage!
Is your mindset ready for the training? While it may seem simple to add on mileage to reach your next race distance, you need to make sure that your mindset is in the right place. Think about the reasons WHY you want to take on the next distance (specifically the marathon distance). The right motivation is what will get you through those long runs for weeks on end! (Note: You have to WANT to train for the distance for the training and race to go well. Don’t do it just because everyone else is!)
Do you have a support system in place? When jumping to the next distance, you are headed into brand new territory. Hours on the road. Finding the right fuel. New aches and pains. Possibly even tears. Having a support system to encourage and motivate you is key! Whether it is a running buddy or group to help you through the long runs or even a family member to send you motivating texts, the support will keep you going when it gets tough.
Working toward the next race distance can be tough yet extremely rewarding! In the words of Walt Disney, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” Just remember to take everything at your OWN pace. Work toward a distance that is doable for you. Every accomplishment is wonderful, and even magical when it’s during a runDisney race!
Throughout these blog posts, we will cover all aspects of training from our own personal experience. Please note that we are not medical doctors, personal trainers, registered dietitians or in any way qualified to give individualized recommendations. If you have something you would like us to address, please send an email to email@example.com!