Whether you are running the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in May or you are training to run 13.1 miles in any mini marathon, physical therapist, Andy Bauermeister from OrthoIndy Physical Therapy provides you with a few tips on how to train for a mini marathon.
- Determine a training plan three to four months before you plan to run a mini marathon. It’s a long race, but if you train appropriately, then you will be able to have a fun and successful race and hopefully avoid injury.
- Stick to the plan and be consistent. There are many training plans on how to train for a mini marathon available through books or online. Find one that works for your schedule and meets your goals; then, stick to it. The plan can be based on mileage or time and running or walking.
- Each week should have a variety of short runs, medium runs and one long run. Most training plans have one to two shorter distances, one to two medium distances and a longer distance to run or walk each week. Those distances will progressively increase each week.
- Build in time for recovery runs and rest. A good training plan will have built-in rest weeks. Typically every three to four weeks, you will have a week where your running or walking time is reduced about 20 percent before ramping up the following week. Those weeks are important for recovery and injury prevention.
- Sign up for the 500 Festival Miler Series, presented by OrthoIndy. Although the weather may not be ideal for running outside, the best way to train is in the setting of the race, not on a treadmill. The Miler series, along with other local runs, helps you experience what race day will be like.
- If you can run or walk 10 miles, you will be prepared for 13.1 miles. Even though the race is 13.1 miles, your longest distance to train for a mini marathon should be about 10 miles.
- Two weeks before race day, go on your longest run; then, rest. Your longest distance should be done about two weeks before race day. After that, your mileage will taper down. If you’ve trained right, you will feel pretty good during those weeks. You might even feel like you want to go exercise more but resist that urge. Save that energy for race day.
- If injuries do occur, make an appointment with OrthoIndy Physical Therapy (no referral necessary). Even with the best training program, injuries do tend to occur. OrthoIndy Physical Therapy can help you determine the best course of treatment to get you back in shape for race day.