Recently, I completed a huge goal – my first half marathon! I had some ups and downs when training, and during the race. That’s pretty typical I think. I still plan on running more half marathons and tackling a full marathon one day. The feeling of crossing the finish line after all of the training & work was amazing!
Here are my top five tips on how to fun your first half-marathon!
1 – Find a training plan & get it on your calendar. You can google “Half Marathon Training Plan” and find may online. Fine one that works for you & figure out how it works in your life. I scheduled my shorter runs on weekday mornings, and my long runs on Sunday mornings. Than you are going to write in all of your runs for the months of your training on your calendar.
Also, consider a walk/run approach for your first half (google a plan). I did this & was happy to see a lot of other racers doing the same thing.
2 – Stretch after your runs. I’m surprised at how many people don’t do this! But I’m convinced it has helped me to avoid many injuries that plague runners. Search for “post run yoga” routines on YouTube for ideas.
3 – Buy a good pair of running shoes. Go to your local running store – they will analyze how you run and select some good sneakers for you. Also have them select some appropriate socks for you as well. I can’t stress enough how important this is if you don’t want to be plagued by injuries! My fav local store is A Running Start in West Reading.
4 – Get plenty of sleep. As you increase your mileage you will notice you are more tired. This is because your body needs more sleep to recover! Especially important the week before a race, as its typical to not get a great night’s sleep the night before you race.
5- You will get pre-race jitters and this is normal. Honestly, I was freaking out the days leading up to this race. I was worried it would be too hot and humid (it was) and that I wouldn’t be able to sleep the night before (I didn’t). When I got to the race sight, the woman parked next to me was so nervous she was throwing up. In line to the bathroom the girl next to me had run dozens of marathons and was still nervous about running a half marathon. Just realize its part of the process that pretty much everyone experiences.