5 Tricks to Make Half-Marathon Training a Whole Lot Better

Before my first half marathon, a 5K in college was my max distance race.

And I was slow.

There were participants right behind beside me drinking beer on the course.
Slow.

So if you’re thinking, “I really want to do a half-marathon, but I have only ever ran one mile, and it was the one required for junior high P.E. class.”
Friend, this post is for YOU.

Congrats on registering (or considering 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.

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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; They’re scary and your friends will be concerned for your toes of many colors.

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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.

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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.

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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. (other ideas for cross-training: CrossFit, yoga, barre, kickboxing, cycling, pilates…basically any movement that’s not running)

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5. Keep going. If you think “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!

HAVE FUN! Just go running. It’s actually supposed to be hard. Love the process.

-Stacey

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!

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Running for cures; for fun; for breakfast tacos | 20something living in OKC with my dog | Dietetics and Nutrition Student | Learning, living, and writing about it all

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