First off, congrats on arriving at this blog! Gotta love some inspiration and soul searching on the internet. I’ve completed two half marathons, but by no means does this make me an expert.
So you want to run a half, but do you know why? Are you wanting to get into better shape? Looking for something to do with a S.O, family member, or friend? Celebrate a city or cause? Or are you just looking for a challenge? All of these are valid, and there are a million other awesome reasons to do this.
I ran both of mine in college, and am planning on running a few more others now that I’m out of college. My best friend mentioned it, and I have always encouraged the word “yes”, so I went for it. I loved it so much the first time, I told myself I would do another, so I did the same race two years later.
As you perform your half marathon research, here are a few things I’d recommend:
– find a training program — there are a ton online (I did a 14-week plan)
– get a pair of new running shoes that are going to be able to sustain 13 miles
– determine how you’re going to reward yourself — a new running jacket? over-priced leggings? or perhaps even a trip?
– app or method to track your runs — distance, incline, pace, etc.
– figure out what “background” noise works best for you — music, podcasts, nothing?
– find a way to integrate hydration into your daily routine — challenge yourself to double your current daily water intake
– find a sustainable pace that works for you — I usually stick to a 9:15/9:30 pace
I strongly recommend training and running the race with a partner. Whether it’s a friend, S.O., family member, anyone. It’s an awesome experience to share, and can only make you closer. I’ve trained with and without people, and I don’t think I could ever train alone. There is something special about holding accountability over one another and being able to accomplish something together.
Lastly, you don’t have to run the entire thing. It’s okay to take pauses and catch your breath. There is no penalty for walking or grabbing water. Most marathons have a time maximum, but you could “fast walk” an entire half marathon and finish in time. Don’t be so hard on yourself!