The 16th Annual Little Rock Marathon begins March 4 and runners have already started training. Many runners are using different techniques to prepare for the race.
“Running apps like Strava or Nike Running are good if you want to know how far you have run,” junior Tyler Wood said. “I try to get up to 30 a miles week if I’m training for a half marathon.”
Wood has run the half marathon before, but decided not to run the race this year. However, he still manages to find time to run during his busy schedule.
“I typically try to run five to six times a week,” Wood said. “I prefer making little loops and trying to make it less repetitive.”
The event offers multiple races for participants who may not want to run the full marathon of 26.2 miles. A half marathon (13.1 miles), a 10K (6.2 miles), a 5K (3.1 miles) and children’s race are all open for participants.
“I have run a 10K before,” sophomore Sommer Cofield said. “It was in Fredericksburg, Texas when I was in high school.”
Cofield has signed up to participate in the 10k race. She usually runs four days a week as a part of her training.
“I’ve seen my mood improve,” Cofield said. “Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been training just because it helps me relieve a lot of my stress.”
Running is not the only method of training required for runners participating in marathons. Literacy Lab Director Tia Stone said that sleeping and eating are vital to training for long distance races.
“There’s a lot to it besides just running,” Tia Stone said. “You want to take care of yourself in the best ways you can.”
Stone has placed first in the Little Rock Marathon for the last two years. She ran for Harding’s cross country and track teams when she was a student and currently teaches a running course for students.
Her husband, John Stone, wanted to run the marathon several years ago. She began training with him and soon realized how much she missed running.
“It’s a little different than other sports,” John Stone said. “I really enjoy being able to do something I love and stay competitive, even being so removed after college.”
The Little Rock Marathon started in 2003 and benefits Little Rock Parks and Recreation. Registration for the race is available online through Feb. 23.