Running tips from Olympic distance runner Roberto Mandje

Setting a goal, stretching and hydrating are just a few keys to success.

ByABC News
April 21, 2017, 8:40 AM

— -- "Good Morning America"'s Amy Robach is training for the 14th annual SHAPE Women's Half Marathon this month in New York City.

Robach did a training run with Olympic distance runner Roberto Mandje who shared tips for women and men of all ages on how to best prepare for a long-distance race.

Set a goal: "You gotta crawl before you can walk," Mandje said, adding that even if it means only running one or two miles a day, "that's fine." He also advised that runners make a plan long before actually starting a race. "Whether it's just finishing or beating your previous best time, you just want to establish realistic goals and work towards that incrementally," he said.

Stick to a routine: Mandje said it was key to race in the clothes you've trained with, and more importantly, to not wear brand new running shoes on race day. "You don't wanna experiment with new shoes," Mandje said. "Then all the training goes out the window because they're dealing with blisters."

Remember to stretch: Mandje recommended dynamic stretches to get the body ready by raising the heart rate and activating different leg muscles, including quads and hamstrings.

Pace yourself: "People do tend to get overly excited and before you know it you've gone out too fast and it could blow your whole race plan," Mandje said. He said it was important to set a sensible pace for the race.

Stay hydrated: The Olympic runner said having a hydration plan is key for long-distance races and recommended hydrating "maybe every 20 minutes or so in the race." Mandje also discussed breathing techniques and jokingly told Robach, "technically, if you're alive, you're doing it right." But he added that runners should practice relaxed breaths and "every once in a while take a really deep breath from your gut and fill your lungs."

Click HERE for more details, including registration information, on the 14th annual SHAPE Women's Half Marathon.