Hey, and welcome back to my guide to training for a half marathon! A while back, I shared the 8-week training plan my boyfriend and I are following to get ready to run 13 miles. Today, I’m going to give you some suggestions about all of the other things you need to think about
if you’re a non-runner who’s considering a half.
There’s more than ya think!
If you’re just starting to train for a running event, here are some tips to help you start off right. This covers everything from getting in the training mindset to stuff you need to buy to run your best race on the big day.
1. Find a running buddy
Having someone there to motivate you and hold you accountable is so important. Plus, if you are looking to improve your speed, it can be helpful to recruit a partner who is faster than you. If that’s not motivating, I don’t know what is!
2. Sign up for the marathon months in advance if you can
Our race is in December and we’re starting to train now in October. It’s really important to safely build up your mileage—and the more time you have, the easier you can be on yourself. Adding even just the tiniest bit each day can make a big difference. It’s also a smart idea to sign up for 5k’s and 10k’s in the meantime so you have mini-goals along the way.
3. Avoid getting stuck in a rut
Switch it up! Run on different surfaces, take different routes, and do a combo of hills and flat ground. It’s important to keep it fresh so that you continuously challenge yourself.
4. Fuel, fuel, fuel!
I can’t stress how important it is to fuel yourself before and after your runs. Different things work for everyone, so definitely take this training time to explore what makes you feel good. You want food that will help you perform at an optimal level.
For me, carb-heavy snacks make for great energy before a workout. I love a banana with peanut butter or a toasted English muffin. Another great on-the-go snack is, of course, a ONE Bar. The Almond Bliss flavor is my absolute FAVE, and I’m excited to try the seasonal flavors like Pumpkin Pie. Each bar has a whopping 20g of protein and only 1g of sugar, so it’s pretty much the perfect post-run fuel to charge up those muscles.
5. Train your mind
Running is very much a mental sport. Prepare by picking out a few affirmations to have in your back pocket while you run. Also, make sure you have a killer playlist that’s filled with preferred songs or podcasts that you know will keep you energized and motivated.
6. Don’t overdo it
Please, listen to your body! If you are in serious pain, go get it checked out by your doctor, take a rest day, or ease up on the long-distance runs. You don’t want to feel weak on the big day!
Here’s a list of things you’ll need before and during the half. Some of them are obvious, but some are things I learned the hard way.
- Good running shoes
- Running buddy
- Water and a water bottle
- Fuel—ONE Bars, nut butters, fruit, toast, etc.
- Appropriate clothing (our run is in December, so we’ll be dressing warm)
- Fully charged phone
- Anti-chafing products (don’t laugh, I mean it!)
And remember, if I can do this, you can do it! HAPPY RUNNING!
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