Hey guys! I wrote this for the little local fitness blog I run, and since I don’t have anything terribly important to say today, here it is!
While I may not be an expert at running half marathons, I know a lot about starting running a first half marathon, as I ran my first last summer. A half marathon is a great distance for runners looking to get a little more serious, but not able or willing to make the time commitment or endure the physical wear and tear of a full marathon. For new runners, I would highly recommend trying out a 5k (3.1 miles) or a 10k (6.2 miles) first to build an endurance base and actually decide if you actually LIKE running.
Here are some steps to start you on your half marathon journey.
- Buy good running shoes. This is absolutely essential-it will make the runs much more pleasant and reduce the risk of injuries down the line. With so much running, it is quite easy for foot or knee pain to pop up-buying good running shoes is worth it.
- Find a training plan. Depending on you starting running ability, go online and search for a beginner’s plan. There are a ton of great plans out there-I used Marathon Rookie.
- Find a race. I would recommend as flat a race as possible for a first half. Figure out when you need to start training.
- Look into ‘on the run’ fueling. 13.1 miles is a long time; most runners need to fuel during the race. I have used goo in the past, but some runners eat chews, granola bars, or fruity candy (like jelly beans or Swedish fish).
- Map out your training schedule. Know what’s ahead; this will help you plan your runs around your life, and the runs will be more likely to happen if they are laid out in black and white.
- Listen to your body. If something hurts, stop. If your legs are exhausted, maybe shorten your run. This doesn’t mean anytime you are tired you should stop-but if something is wrong, do not push it.
7. Just go for it! What do you have to lose?
Any tips to add?