The 1st Annual Morgan Valley Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K will be held on Saturday July 30. That’s only 5 months away! If you haven’t started training yet, it’s not too late but NOW is the time!! Don’t be afraid of running in the cold weather. Dress in layers, wear a hat and gloves and go for it! You’ll be surprised how fast you warm up when you get your body moving! And oh how you will appreciate the warmer weather when it finally comes! You could also run on a treadmill, it’s just not quite as rewarding as running in our beautiful Morgan Valley in the clean, crisp air! Just don’t wait for the warm weather to get started! If your goal is to run the 5k there is no need to panic. Take it slow and easy, alternating running with walking. If you haven’t run before, begin with walking and add a little running along the way. Work up to 30 minutes and try to get out 3 times a week. Soon you will be running more than walking and eventually running the whole 30 minutes. Just listen to your body, if you are feeling good, go faster and longer. If you are tired and feel weak, slow down and take it easy. Now if it’s the Half Marathon you’re shooting for, don’t panic just get going!! You can also alternate running and walking, you will just need to add on the miles! Work up to 3 miles by the end of March and add 3 miles each month. By the end of June you will be up to 12 miles and ready for the Half Marathon. It’s always a good idea to taper off a few weeks before a race. So plan on your longest run about 1 month before the big race! If finishing the Marathon is your goal you may think it’s time to panic, but really, it is possible! A good pattern to follow is to run every other day, using your off days to rest, walk or cross train. Pick one day a week and make it your long run. If you can make it up to 6 miles by the end of March- just add on 1 mile each week and by the first of July you’ll be up to 20 miles! You don’t need to train up to 26 miles for a marathon. If you can run 20 miles, you can do 26.2! And like the other races, you can run/walk as you train and as you are participating in the race! There are many training schedules you can look up and follow on the internet. But the most important tip is to listen to YOUR body! Don’t overdo! It is better to rest if you are hurting (could be a sign of an injury and you don’t want to make it worse) or if you are extremely tired and weak it could be a sign of illness. On the days that you are feeling great with lots of energy, don’t hesitate to run further or faster than you had planned. Take advantage of those good days and make the most of them! Keep a positive attitude and remember_ if you believe you can run or believe you can’t, you’re probably right! So believe in yourself, and make the commitment to a life changing goal! Visit www.morganmarathon.com for more information on the Morgan Valley Marathon. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or comments.