Updated: Aug 6, 2019
By Ted McDonald - Congratulations! By deciding to run a half marathon or a 5K you've already taken the first step to a memorable journey. You’ve officially set yourself a lofty goal that very few people will ever accomplish. The next step is to properly prepare for your race.
We've created a specific training program designed to get you across the finish line and to help you consolidate your relationship with fitness and wellness. Our goal with this training plan is two-fold.
The first is to get you across the finish line healthy, happy, and strong. The second is to have you fall in love with the experience and continue to return year after year because you've made new friends, you've enjoyed the beautiful and majestic Malibu coastline, and most of all, because you’re energized from our 360º sustainable lifestyle training.
There are 5 main categories to look after during your training program: running, recovery, nutrition, mindfulness, and building community. You know how the first four will help you, but the community aspect is about creating that support group that will last year in and year out for life.
By choosing to participate in this race you are a leader in your community and it’s time to spread the word, reach out to your friends who are doing the race and begin training together. Find those who might be on the fence and recruit them to join in the fun. There is nothing like sharing the achievement and the pure elation of crossing the finish line with your loved ones!
Make sure you train properly adding a few miles at a time so your body can safely handle the increased mileage. Our goal is to have you race safely without injuring yourself.
The main cause of injuries in runners is adding too many miles too quickly. Follow our advice and you’ll do great. If you find yourself wanting to run a little more, just don’t make too much of a jump. Start slow and listen to your body.
This race is not supposed to put you in bed for 4 days. It's meant to lift your spirits. It's meant to encourage you to dig deep inside and find out what you're truly made of. I bet it's more than you think. Part of having that incredible experience during racing is making sure you are prepared and recovery is the next most important ingredient to training.
There are many ways to recover, but the basics are simple. Make sure you sleep and stretch. That’s right, sleep 8 hours every day if you can. Somewhere between 7 and 9 hours is usually best, but if you have been on a long run and you feel like you want to sleep a little more, go for it. Your body recovers best during sleep.
I highly recommend a 10-15 minute pre-run stretch. I do an activation stretch that just makes my body feel so much better on the run. Post run cool down stretch and yin yoga in the evenings are how I top off my day to help my body recover in the best way possible. Make sure you’re adding those to your training program.
There is so much information about what to eat, when to eat it, and how to eat it, that there is no way to break it all down into a few short paragraphs. I will say, however, that you must think of yourself as an experiment of one. You must figure out what works for you. Which foods do you feel best eating? Are you Paleo? Vegan? A Sugar Burner? Fat Burner?
Here are some basics. We know that approximately 20 g of protein is best absorbed within 30-45 minutes of your workout. This will help your muscles rebuild better from tougher workouts.
We know that you must stay hydrated or you will suffer from dizziness and muscle cramps caused by dehydration. We also know that if you drink too much water without sufficient electrolytes you may come down with hyponatremia, which is very bad and can cause organ failure.
All this said, you must be wise about what you’re putting into your body and you have to find the middle ground.
Moderation is the key to fueling properly for your race and for life.
Once you figure out approximately how long your race is going to take, you can then plan your nutrition. You can plan your breakfast on race day, plus your water intake, hydration fluid, gels, etc.
Please make sure you test out anything you’re going to take on the race during training. The last thing you want to deal with is stomach issues while you’re running.
Increased stress levels is one way that is guaranteed to shorten your life. I’ve been lucky enough to have yoga and meditation in my life for over 2 decades. It doesn’t mean I don’t get stressed out, but it does mean that I have a place to go and a tool box for those times when the you know what does hit the fan.
Mindfulness not only helps decrease our stress levels, but it also helps us recover better and sleep more soundly.
Be mindful on your runs to help prevent injuries and to know when you should speed up or slow down. You’ll have a much better experience with your training and the race.
It’s fine to listen to music if you like that, but make sure you’re feeling the ground on every step, engaging your abdomen while running, relaxing your shoulders, face and jaw.
Make sure you’re not tensing up in all those unconscious ways we hold tension. You’ll find your runs become much more pleasurable!
I recommend a few minutes (10-15) of meditation in the morning and in the evening if possible.
It’s great to have some solitude to check in with yourself, reset your chatty brain, and live your life in a calmer and happier way. This truly is one of the best ways to improve your quality of life.
Social connection is imperative for a healthy life and there is no better way than to hang out with like-minded people and build a community around health and fitness. Find friends to train with, encourage friends to sign up and race with you, and begin to leave your positive impact on the world.
Download your planning plan here or for more resources visit our training page: https://www.malibumarathon.com/training-programs
Couch to 5K: Click Here.
Half Marathon Beginner: Click Here.
Half Marathon Intermediate: Click Here.
Half Marathon Advance: Click Here.
Remember, the best race is the one you trained for properly.
So whether that's just getting to the finish line or shaving those precious few minutes off your PR, it's a pleasure to help you get started toward achieving your goal this November. Feel free to reach out on instagram @teddymcdonald or directly through my website teddymcdonald.com. See you at the starting line!