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.
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??
[Tweet “13 tips for your first 13.1 miles! what would you add? via @runcarmyrun”]
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