Before my first half marathon, a 5K in college was my max distance race.
And I was slow.
There were participants right behind me drinking beer on the course.
That kind of slow.
So if you’re thinking, “I really want to do a half-marathon, but I have only ever ran three miles.” Or, “I want to run far, but I never have.” This post is for you.
Congrats on registering for a half-marathon! I love half-marathon weekends, and nothing makes me more excited and motivated than clicking that “register” button.
YOU. WILL. NOT. REGRET. IT.
Here’s a few tips from my ever-growing bag of tricks that I learned after running my first half-marathon (pictured above at the finish)
1. Shoes. I’ve said this before, but get cha some good running shoes! Go to a running store and let the experts fit you for the shoe that best suits your stride- you won’t regret it. You WILL regret thinking that your shoes fit when actually they don’t and your toenails begin to turn unpleasant colors. Dark blue toenails aren’t cute.
2. Hydration. Note: hydration is NOT all water consumption. Hydration is actually having the proper amount of electrolyte balance to keep your body going. On short runs, I always take water with me. I honestly can’t train myself out of it (maybe I haven’t tried hard enough?). On long runs, I take a mix of blue gatorade with water in a sexy little fuel belt. Figuring out which hydration method works for you is key. Try different methods like coconut water, powerade, gu, energy gels. It’s also important to hydrate the day before, especially on long runs.
3. Developing a training plan and stick with it. B-E Consistent. For me, this means laying my running clothes across the room next to my alarm clock so I have no excuse to say no.
4. Cross-train. This is the best way to prevent injury. Add weights, and work on those abs and glutes. A lot of running injuries are caused from weak or tight glutes and abs. Planks are your new best friend.
5. Keep going. If you think “ohmygawd I want to stop when will this enddddd” then keep going. Once you’re out of your funk later and reflecting on your run, you’ll be bummed that you didn’t pick up your feet and keep it up. Your mind will quit LONG before your body will. Don’t let your mind fool you. YOU are the boss. Keep moving.
And on a similar note…
I know I say it all the time, but keep moving forward. Just because you reached your goal (distance, speed, finish line, or whatever) doesn’t mean that you’ve reached the end of your goals. Don’t get complacent! The world needs your energy. <- That sounded incredibly hippy and peace and love, but you get me. Keep on keepin’ on!
Running isn’t rocket science. Don’t overthink it; don’t get discouraged if you have an off day. HAVE FUN! Just go running. It’s actually supposed to be kinda hard. I’ve been in a funk myself and last night my husband was like, “Hey- why didn’t you run today?” And I rattled off an excuse. “That doesn’t sound like you. You never think about running- you just go running.” And he’s right. So just go running- and enjoy the process 🙂
P.S. ASK QUESTIONS! Runners are generally happy people, and I’m sure someone would be happy to help out if you have any questions. OR if you don’t have a crazy runner friend, ask me!