The largest women's half marathon takes place this weekend in Central Park, and while that means thousands of runners, it is still something many can't even fathom attempting. NY1's Kafi Drexel filed the following report.
The year 2012 marks the ninth year of the More Magazine/Fitness Magazine Women's Half Marathon. The race now draws more than 10,000 women a year. But heading for the finish line has to start somewhere -- and not just with the air horn on race day.
If you are long-distance phobic, deputy editor of Fitness Magazine Mary Anderson says there are some simple techniques to jog or sprint your way past that fear.
"You will surprise yourself at how easily it comes to you. It's like riding a bike even more so than that. Once you get started you really get this endorphin high you don't want to stop," Anderson says.
You might be thinking that's easier said than done. But if try splitting your miles into small victories instead of starting off by aiming for Olympic gold you might actually get somewhere.
"So okay you are doing 13.1 miles down the road, think about the first five miles. If you want to break that up, walk two miles, run the center mile, and walk two miles again," suggests Anderson. "You've still covered your five mile distance but the next time you go out stretch out the running portion and slim down the walking portion. You'll be surprised how quickly to that distance at a full jog."
It's also really important to stretch. Anderson says the more you do of that, the more likely you are to also stretch your distance.
"We used to stretch in PE. We'd get down on the ground, do those hurdler stretches for 30 seconds at a time," Anderson explains. "Well now science is telling us you really want to prime your muscles for running to get them juiced up for what they are about to do. So you've got to make those stretches move. That means doing high knees or butt kicks or kind of those high duck walks to get those muscles amped up rather than in a stationary state."
If you are new to multiple laps and miles, stay hydrated. If you don't, that means you are literally running on empty. No matter how big or small the goal you'll want to make it to that victory lap -- even if a victory lap is the only lap you're doing.