Editor's note: The 37th annual Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic Run and Walk is set for May 24-25 in Wheeling. To help prepare for the race, staff members at CentreTown Fitness have prepared a series of training articles.
Training is everything, especially when you have a goal in mind. For many people, that goal is to run or walk the Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic.
Years ago, I was one of those people who stood on the side of the street watching the runners go by. I was amazed and envious. As the years passed, I watched the race on National Road a few blocks from my house, cheering them on, wishing I was one of them. I kept telling myself that one day I was going to run that race, but it seemed like something beyond my reach. One day I stopped talking about it and started training.
I entered the race as part of a relay team but decided to finish the whole thing. That was my first distance race, but certainly not my last. Since that race, I have done numerous half marathons, seven full marathons and an ultra marathon 50K trail race. One thing that I have learned is that training is everything.
It's not all about running and walking. As a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, I have had the pleasure to work with several runners and walkers in my classes or one-on-one. I am a strong believer in cross training and core work. Biking, swimming, kick boxing and aerobic classes are great examples of cross training. It keeps your aerobic capacity high, helps with endurance and gives your legs a break from running or walking. I have had clients tell me that it has helped their running.
I especially feel that strength training is important. It is helpful for any sport, but it's often pushed to the back burner. Strength training is important for everyone, even if you do not race. It improves bone density, which is especially important to women. We lose bone density as we age. It also increases your metabolism, so if you are looking to lose weight you would be wise to add strength training to your workouts. I also incorporate a lot of plyometric moves. It helps with leg strength and power.
Does the Ogden Half Marathon sound like too much of a challenge? There is also a 5K race that morning. If you aren't ready for that right now, then come out and cheer us on and get inspired to start training for next year's race.
Not sure where to start? The Ohio Valley Runner's and Walker's Club meets at the Edgwood Lutheran Church basement on National Road at 7 p.m. the first Tuesday of the month. Everyone is welcome. We usually hold a run/walk clinic every year around February to train people to run or walk a race, but you don't have to wait until February. You can start now.
Our club also meets at 5:30 p.m. Mondays at Wheeling's Heritage Port. We have runners and walkers of all abilities and goals, and everyone is welcome to join us. There are those who are training for races, and some just enjoy the social aspect of having someone to run or walk with. Whatever your goal, we are there to support you.
Many of our members have been doing the Ogden race since it started, and some are doing it for the first time this year. It is without a doubt one of the toughest Half Marathons, which makes it hard to miss. The challenge is there calling your name.
Yes, training is everything and the sooner you start the better. I hope to see you out there!