Fitness / Running Info

13 Tips For Your First 13.1 miles!

You know that feeling where you see a half marathon and you’re like well why not? Then after you’ve signed up you get this feeling in your gut going “what did I just do?!!?!?!?” Yup, I got that for my first half marathon and still get a similar feeling now every once in a while.  Well here are 13 things that I found to have helped me train for my other half marathons I’ve done.



1. Find a training plan!

My very first half marathon, I ran it in 2:17 with no training plan at all. I ran a few times each week and only did one 20k run leading up to it (with someone pacing me the whole way). If I had followed a proper training plan, I feel like my first could have been a lot faster (my second half, with training, I finished in 2:07).

2. You don’t need to run every day

I’m a fan of the run less, run faster policy. My body personally cannot handle daily runs and I’m okay with that. I know some people can run daily but if you’re like me then that’s okay! I average 3-4 runs a week and sent the rest of the days recovering.

3. Strengthen

Do not neglect strengthening! This applies to all distances but the stronger you are, the less chances of injury you have.

4. Get your shoes fitted

I was lucky enough to have found shoes to worked for me but my friend had ran a marathon in shoes too small for her! ALL the black toe nails… So do your feet a favour and get fitted!

5. Write it down

It’s great to be able to flip back in your notebook and see how much you’ve improved during your training cycle – especially when you’re feeling down.

6. Cross Train

I hated cross training! But I seriously saw an improvement after I started on my “rest/recovery” day.

7. Enlist a buddy

Someone to keep your accountable or motivated it always a plus. Wouldn’t you rather have your best friend with you running at 5am than on your own?

8. Practice fueling

When I was training, I practice fueling since you can’t always rely on fueling stations. I eat a chew every 3-4k and I practice doing that. Same goes for water breaks.

9.  Train on different surfaces

If you’re a treadmill person (nothing wrong with that!) don’t forget to take it outside once in a while. The natural incline is different plus there’s no help via treadmill for leg turnover! In addition, take your run to a track once in a while! A track work out can help incorporate speed.

10. Get two pairs of shoes

As your shoes will be taking a beating, there’s a chance your shoes will be done by the time your race comes around and there’s nothing worse than breaking in new shoes right before a race!

11. Invest in a foam roller

Your muscles will thank you.

12. Plan out your race day

Where are you meeting your friends/family post race (when brain fog sets in and you’re confused haha)? What are you packing with you (spare socks!)? What are you going to eat the night before/the morning of?

13. Plan your next half!

So what’s a tip you’d add to the list??


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13 Tips For Your First 13.1 miles! #running #fitness #newyears @

13 thoughts on “13 Tips For Your First 13.1 miles!

  1. These are great tips! I’m totally with you on the “run less to run faster” mentality. I get my runners to run stronger by incorporating more strength training into their routine!

    One of my biggest tips is to find a fuelling strategy that works for you. Some run better on carbs and some run better on fats!

  2. I think you covered it! I love that sign up for your next race is on the list! Nothing makes me happier than finishing one race and being ready for another!

  3. Great tips! When I started running halfs, I didn’t follow a training plan, just ran one long run and my 3 other runs every week. It worked pretty well for me, but I could never run one without stopping to walk. Once I started throwing in some speed work, I did a lot better job pacing myself and have been able to run the entire thing.

  4. Great tips! I actually just found out an awesome tip for people who get black toenails (thanks to my local running store).
    My mom’s toenails would always go black no matter the shoe size. Turns out, you can rub bodyglide onto the tips of your toes and nails, and the problem disappears! The constant rubbing and friction of nails against sock/shoe can cause the problem too. Maybe I’ll write about this because I had no idea!

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