Question:
How do I develop my current walking routine into completing a medium-distance race format?

Answer:
Suppose you are already walking and aspire to complete a medium-distance race. In that case, it is always a good idea to consult a physician, physical therapist, or personal trainer if you will be significantly increasing your level of physical activity.

Once given the green light, a good specialty shoe store can get you started with the correct pair of walking/running shoes that will best support your feet, along with suggestions for appropriate socks and apparel. Many also now offer social training programs designed for beginning to advanced athletes.

Be sure to let others know that you have committed to a goal to complete a medium-distance race, such as one of the legs of the Bankers Trust Marathon Relay.

You will find great encouragement from others; perhaps they will join you through your journey and celebrate your accomplishment on race day.

Visit resources online like Road Runners Club of America for tips on safety, etiquette, running in warmer weather, and other topics. Consider joining a walking or running club to train with others, such as the Capital Striders. Many offer benefits and discounts from local races and businesses. rrca.org.

Depending on your specific goals, most medium-distance training programs can prepare you for race day with two months of training by following a particular walking routine.

A good rule of thumb is never to increase the workout weekly by more than 10%. You will build a physical and mental endurance baseline in the first couple of weeks, followed by incremental increases in more extended workout periods.

Make sure to rest on the days between workouts, as resting allows your muscles to recover before the next workout while helping to prevent the risk of injury.

It would be best if you could avoid drastic changes to your eating habits. Your body will perform better during workouts when appropriately fueled in between. When making your food choices during training, always try to keep this in mind.

Drink water when thirsty, and always try to include hydration in your training routine within 45 of your workouts. Energy gels, sports drinks, and nutritional supplements are not necessary.

To download additional training information and guides explicitly designed for beginners who want to become more efficient in their workout, visit www.desmoinesmarathon.com.