Don't count out the half marathon
Published: Saturday, January 12, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 12, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.
Maybe the thought of a full marathon is intriguing but daunting.
The Finish Line
The training continues for LifeSouth's third annual Five Points of Life Race Weekend, Feb. 23-24.
The Blogs: Sun bloggers Megan Rolland, Marin Devine, John Fleming and Josh West share their experiences as they train.
The Plan: Marathon and half-marathon training plans created by exercise physiologist and coach, Jeff Plasschaert.
Online chat: Live Web chat with sports dietician Kathryn Parker from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22.
Or maybe you skipped one too many training runs in your plan to get ready for the Five Points of Life Marathon in Gainesville on Feb. 24.
The half marathon, which starts along with the full marathon on Feb. 24 and follows the first half of the marathon course, may be just the right distance this time around. And if you can currently run a 5K without too much trouble, you still have time to train for it.
"In training for a full marathon, there are certain distances you want to cover that will help you adapt to running longer distances," said Jeff Plasschaert, an exercise specialist at the University of Florida and Shands Sports Performance Center and a certified triathlon and cycling coach who has trained numerous runners for marathons. "Running a half marathon is one of those stepping stones. It can be a good confidence builder to set yourself up to train for a full marathon in the future."
Plasschaert, who has created a half-marathon training plan for The Gainesville Sun for runners hoping to train for that event as part of the Five Points of Life Marathon weekend, offers the following tips for training for and running the half:
Many of the same training principles apply to the marathon and the half-marathon: Don't overtrain. Get enough rest. Hydrate and refuel properly during and after long runs. For specific tips on marathon training and nutrition, visit gainesvillesun.com/finishline.
Learn what works for you. "Everyone has a different opinion about what works and what doesn't," Plasschaert said. "Don't read one thing and take that as the running bible."
During the half marathon, pace yourself for the distance you're running. "Since both groups run together at the Five Points of Life Marathon, try not to pace off of someone else - at least not until you ask if they're doing the full or the half," Plasschaert said.
To download a copy of Plasschaert's half-marathon training plan, visit gainesvillesun.com/
Looking for more tips about nutrition as it pertains to marathon training? Take part in a live Web chat with sports dietician Kathryn Parker from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22. Parker, who was the first staff dietician for the University of Florida Athletic Association when she started working with UF athletes in 1981, counseled U.S. Olympic track and field athletes in 1992 and is providing advice for runners training for the Five Points of Life Marathon now.
Amy Reinink can be reached at 352-374-5088 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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