Local runners test their strength training for half-marathon

     If you look around the streets of Athens, Ohio, you are bound to see more than one person running down the sidewalk. There are plenty of people who hold an interest in running but only a few are brave enough to take on the challenge of running a whole or half marathon. Senior management information systems and accounting major Rachel Musheff is one of these runners. She has been running since she was in the seventh grade when she participated on her school’s track team. In high school she started running cross country, where she would compete in a 5K, a 3.1 mile race, every weekend throughout the fall. When Musheff entered college, she stopped competing and started running for the pure enjoyment of the sport.
     A lot of people have trouble finding places to run, but Athens runners don’t seem to have that problem because they run the streets on a regular basis. “When it is cold outside I run at Ping on either the track or the treadmills but when it is nice out, I run either around the streets of Athens or on the bike path,” Musheff said.
     A senior Media Management student, Josh Bischoff started running five years ago as a freshman on campus. Bischoff never has trouble finding places to run.
     “You can run anywhere. It’s really cool because you can run flat, you can run hills, you can run almost any terrain you want. I take different routes all the time but it is usually just around campus. I run wherever the wind takes me, wherever my legs go. It’s not my choice, it’s theirs,” Bischoff said.
Since finding places to run is hardly a problem and running is an enjoying sport, Musheff decided in January to take on the challenge of the Athens Half-Marathon. “My friend ran the marathon last year and it was something I have always wanted to do, but I realized I wouldn’t have enough time to train for the whole marathon so I decided to run the half so I could eventually train for the whole one,” Musheff said.
     Senior Exercise Physiology major Kelley Phillips is also training for the Athens Half- Marathon. She started her training about two months ago in the beginning of January. “I have always had the idea to run a half-marathon but I have never been motivated until this year. The idea of getting back in shape and running a race again motivated me to do it,” Phillips said.
When training for a long race such as a marathon or half-marathon, runners usually have a set schedule they need to follow to ensure they are ready on race day. Musheff has been running an equal number of miles on Sundays that correspond to the week of the quarter it is. This way, during finals week she will complete an 11-mile run and that is the farthest she will go until race day on April 5th when she runs 13.1 miles. Phillips, who has been running for about nine years, has been doing her own type of training. She runs anywhere from 3 to 6 miles on a daily basis and is building a base and slowly trying to build up her endurance.
     Training for a long race is not for everyone though. Bischoff said he has never considered running a half-marathon and probably never will. He prefers to stick to 5K races offered through the university and shorter distance races.
If you have ever considered running a long race you need to make sure you are mentally prepared to do the training and physically able to complete the race. That is the challenge of it, you need to push yourself to limits you never thought possible. Local runners, including Musheff and Phillips will be testing their skills on April 5th, 2009 at the Athens-Half Marathon. The race starts at 9:00 a.m. at College Gate and will end on the track at Pruitt Field.

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