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Things I have learned while training for a Half Marathon

November 17, 2011

Well, it’s almost here.

In less than 3 days, I will run my first Half Marathon.


I’m not going to lie…I am really nervous. Not because I’m unprepared, because I think I am more than prepared to run this race. But more because of how long I have wanted to do this. It was almost a year ago exactly that I hurt my leg right before I started training for my first Half. And now, I will actually be doing it. And yes, there is that fear that I will start too fast and be worn out at the end, but I know I can finish…even if I have absolutely nothing left in me at the end.



There are a few things I have learned throughout this training process however, and I thought I would share:

Find a training plan that works for you-I chose a running plan that was longer than most. It was also a slow build up to 13. I needed that. I was so worried about injury when I started, that I needed that extra time, both physically and mentally. My training plan also was strictly running. While I know cross training is important, I haven’t mastered it yet, so if a training plan had told me to do it, I wouldn’t have followed through and I would have been disappointed in myself. Find what works for you!

Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate!-I actually don’t drink a lot throughout my runs. I can fill up my water bottle, and sometimes there is still quite a bit left at the end. I drink when I’m thirsty or when I consciously remember to drink. But I think the thing that helps me is that I stay really hydrated normally. I drink several bottles of water throughout each day. But water is extra important in two instances-long runs and runs in the heat.

Do a few races during training– I didn’t want to give up all of the races I wanted to run this fall, so I ended up doing a 5k, plus the Quarter marathon double (quarter plus 5k). Because I was in such good shape, I PR’d my 5k time and I ran a really good race at the Quarter. Yes, it didn’t necessarily match up with my training, I was able to fit them in.

Time isn’t important– Okay, so maybe I look at my Garmin several times a mile, and secretly I’m super happy when I’m running “fast”. Most of the time that’s okay. And then you run your first 13 mile run and you realize slow is okay. My mantra for this run has become “It doesn’t matter how fast you’re going, as long as you finish.” Now, someone remind me of that on Sunday, please?

Every run is worth it– There will be runs that you absolutely love. There will be runs that when you finish, you want to shout to the world how awesome you are. There will be runs that you muddle through because your training plan says you have to. There are cold runs, and hot runs, and runs in perfect weather. There will be runs that you have every miserable mile (10 miles, to be more specific…not that I’m talking from personal experience or anything). But every single run is worth it. Maybe not during the run. Maybe not even right after. But at some point, you will appreciate that run.



2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 17, 2011 9:49 pm

    Congrats on getting through the training and good luck on your first half-marathon. Can’t wait to read the details on it! 🙂 Those are great tips I will keep in mind when I start training for my first half!

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