People are always astonished when I tell them that I have indeed run a couple of half marathons in my lifetime. No I didn’t get first place but I did finish and I consider that a victory in itself.
Background: I come from a family of runners. I am convinced my Dad is some kind of cyborg because he can still beat me and run MUCH further than me and he’s almost 60. He has done multiple marathons in his lifetime and still runs about 30 to 40 miles a week. Now take me on the other hand, I run to stay in shape. Sometimes I love to run. Sometimes I hate it.
Running a half marathon is a good goal to set for yourself. Especially if you are a “non-runner”. It is far enough of a distance to be considered a great achievement, it takes a good amount of training and discipline to prepare for, and it really isn’t too strenuous of a distance like a full marathon. So if you’re considering it, I encourage you to sign up for one!
A half marathon is 13.1 miles so it does require a good amount of training and prep. I have known people who have run half marathons and even full marathons without any training but I strongly discourage this. Running comes naturally to human beings, we were born to run, but putting so much strain on your body without proper training leads to injuries and pain. So just don’t do it.
After doing some research I found a half marathon training schedule that about fit the schedule I was on. I like this one because it doesn’t have any walking in it and it is a nice 12-week plan. That gives you plenty of time to get physically and mentally prepared. You can find it here 12-Week Half Marathon Training Plan.
One of my favorite parts of races are all of the swag that they give you. I love going to the expo and getting my shirt and bib. It gets me pumped up for race day.
Some tips for race day:
- Wake up at a reasonable time. There is nothing worse than rushing out the door when you are already nervous.
- Nerves are common. Even the most experienced runners get nervous before big races.
- Don’t forget to pin your bib on yourself and put your chip in your laces
- Eat something light 1.5 to 2 hours before the start of the race. Protein bar, oatmeal, fruit, nuts, etc.
- Drink water
- Shoes. Don’t wear new shoes on race day. Make sure they are broken in and comfortable.
- Clothing. You are going to get warm so I would not recommend wearing too many layers. I usually wear shorts and a t-shirt. But you’ll have to judge it depending on the weather. But bring layers for after the race.
- Chafing. Not everyone chafes. But I do during long distance runs. Vaseline works wonders.
And have fun. If you’ve put in the hard work training, the race should go by quickly and once it is done you will feel great! There is so much infectious energy at races and it will definitely feed off of it during and after your run. And once you have completed the race then you can brag to all of your friends about how you ran a half marathon 🙂