Dr. Art Mollen gives tips for running half-marathon

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX  -- The Phoenix 10K is coming up this Sunday, and there are many ways runners can prepare.

Dr. Art Mollen, who founded the event almost four decades ago, had these tips Tuesday for participants.

1. Don’t eat a big breakfast before the race, but the night before, you should eat pasta and bread.

2. Wear good shoes. Make sure they fit, but don’t run a race in new shoes. "You've got to break them in, do a couple of training runs," says Dr. Mollen. "And then you can decide if you want to run in them after you've been training in them for awhile."

3. Pace yourself. Run at a pace at which you can comfortably talk to someone. Don’t try to keep up with someone else who may be running a lot faster.

4. Warm up & cool down. If you need to stop and stretch during race, it’s okay. "I think it's important for people to stretch in the middle of the race," he says. "So if you start getting an injury, you want to stop and stretch."

5. Water is the best replacement fluid, and is absorbed most easily.  Don’t drink sports drinks unless you’ve had them before.

6. Relax your arms at your sides. Don’t bunch up your shoulders close to your ears and don’t clench your fists.

7.Take comfortable strides, so you don’t get injured.

8. Line up race day according to your normal running pace.

9. Slow down and walk if you have to, and listen to your body.

10. Wear layers of clothing so you can take them off if it gets warmer.

11. Don’t go out too fast in the beginning of race, so you have something left for the end. "Save it for the end," says Dr. Mollen. "Then you'll have a lot left when you head toward the finish line."

12. Make sure to use restroom or port-a-john before the race.

The 38th annual race will bring thousands of people to downtown Phoenix, including the start and finish lines near CityScape. There will be a Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, kids' run, live music, and more.

The first race was held 28years ago at 40th Street and Camelback Road, and 1,500 runners ran along a canal. The race eventually moved to downtown Phoenix where it remained until light rail construction forced a move in 2005. In 2011, the race returned to Central Avenue.

The race benefits The Mollen Foundation, which helps prevent childhood obesity. For more information visit www.Phoenix10K.com.