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5 important tips on how to prepare for a 21-km run

MANILA, Philippines — Fun runs and serious marathons are back after a long hiatus brought about by the pandemic.

Those who have fast-tracked their return to the running scene recently got to test their skills and push the limits with the Lazada Run, which took place at SM Mall of Asia last July 2.

Brave hearts, they truly were, especially those who took on the challenge of doing a 21-kilometer run for the first time. It’s a great goal to have and a challenging distance to conquer. A half marathon, however, is not something where you go to “wing it.” The key to a successful 21-kilometer run is to consistently train and put in the work to get your body accustomed to running for a long period of time.

For those who are planning to join a 21-kilometer run like the recently concluded Lazada Run, here are five important tips to help you prepare for the run and hopefully score you a victory.

1. Do practice runs.

To accomplish a great distance such as a 21-kilometer run, you will need to start from a shorter distance such as a 5-kilometer run and build up to your goal distance.

What you will need the most is endurance. For solid endurance, you will need to create a plan that will work for you. A general guideline is to commit to a training schedule such as doing around three to four weekly runs. With each session, you may keep increasing your pace and distance as you build up to 21 kilometers.

2. Stretch!

Obviously, getting cramps or aches during a run is the worst that can happen to you.

To prevent this, you will need a good amount of flexibility and mobility in order to prevent you from hurting your muscles. Accomplish this by stretching before and after runs. Of course, you will need to warm up your muscles before doing some stretching. Never stretch cold! Do any type of exercise that is suitable for you before you stretch. This way, you will be primed for a long distance run.

3. Stay hydrated.

Always stay hydrated before, during and after a race. When you run, you sweat, so you will lose electrolytes and this can impact your performance.

To compensate for the minerals you will lose, go for an electrolyte sports drink, but of course, water is fine as well. There isn’t a hard and fast rule on how everyone should hydrate, but you must learn what is best for your body with the help of your coach or a medical practitioner.

4. Meditate to prepare yourself mentally.

Running a long distance can be scary and, oftentimes, your worst enemy is yourself. It’s you against your own mind out there.

Always make sure you’re in an optimal mind space before the run starts. You can do this by doing deep breathing exercises or any form of meditation that works for you. You might have negative thoughts, but always assure yourself that your negative thoughts are unwarranted. Accept those thoughts and let them go. Rather than stressing out, focus on the process and enjoy the event!

5. Before the actual run, don’t forget to put on sunscreen!

Runs are held outdoors and living in a country such as the Philippines, it can get very sunny! Sun protection factor (SPF) is often forgotten and foregoing the sunscreen can lead to some nasty burns.

For sunscreen that can last the longest runs while you sweat like crazy, make sure to choose one that is sweat- and water-proof, with at least an SPF 50. You can take your pick of sports sunscreens from brands such as Supergoop, Anessa, Nivea, Pond’s and Neutrogena!

Be sure to follow all these tips and stock up on your racing needs at Lazada. You may want to join the LazBeauty Club as signing up entitles you to a welcome voucher of up to 30% off, weekly vouchers for up to 20% off, and Free Shipping vouchers for Try & Buy products, among others.

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Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com

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