Thinking you want to run a half marathon? It’s a little nerve wracking, isn’t it? Especially when finding a half marathon training plan is a dime a dozen it seems on the inter of webs.
I mean, how do you know that the plan is any good?
How do you know that some Joe Lazy-Pants in his mama’s basement who hasn’t seen the light of day in 15 years didn’t create it?
Well, stick with me, sister. You can trust my credentials although you do proceed at your own risk using any of my advice. 😉
Half marathon. It’s nerve wracking for sure.
I love running halves but I still get super nervous before hand. Why? Well, I’m pretty sure it’s the unknown and the excitement. Plus, I’m super competitive with myself, but that’s another story entirely.
A Half Marathon training plan is super important to the success of running your first half. And, before we dive into my 8 don’ts for training for a half marathon, allow me to give you one quick piece of advice that doesn’t have really anything to with with running, but at the same time, everything to do with running.
Training for a half marathon requires time.
It just does. Especially your first one. Because, my guess is going to be that you’re not going to be running a sub 10 min mile for your first half and that’s totally okay.
This does mean that your training times will probably be a bit longer. Once again, that’s totally okay.
You simply need to plan out your schedule of when you’re going to run and stick to it! Because, believe me when I say that I get it; that schedules get away from us and we look up and realize oh my gosh, it’s Friday and I haven’t gotten all of my workouts in this week.
Having a family and young kiddos can make that difficult, mama. But don’t let that deter you! You can TOTALLY do this.
Alright. Let’s dive in!
Think that you can run 8 miles a week and all of the sudden run 13 on race day. It will not happen unless you are Hercules or Athena the Greek Warrior goddess.
Start training without a plan and schedule in place. This ties in with point number one where you can just go out and start running. You have to have a plan in place and know where you’re headed. I wrote an eBook called From Walker to Marathoner and you can purchase the eBook and the plan here for $30. That’s CRAZY cheap coming from a certified coach but it’s quality info and a step by step guide to keep you on track to your goals.
Compare yourself to other runners. This is so hard, believe me, I promise I do understand the comparison game. Just don’t do it. You don’t know their life and they don’t know yours. The fact you’re out there and working towards a goal is awesome! There’s nothing to compare; you do you because I mean lets be real, you are pretty fantastic.
Buy new shoes right before the race. This may seem like a no brainer but you’d be amazed at how many people I’ve come across that will buy new shoes right before a race.
If you think that your shoes will be too worn out before race day, go ahead and grab some new shoes at least a month to six weeks before the race to give you a chance to break them in. Not sure what shoes to get? I’ve been running for years and been through the different brands and styles and Reebok Harmony Road is hands down my all-time favorite. You can grab a pair here! I have these exact shoes right now and I love love love them. You can see below my feet wearing the Harmony Road’s. So comfortable and so light, they’re just perfect for running.
Choose a non-local race for your very first half. Reason for this is so that if you choose a local race, you can know the race route and train accordingly! My very first half marathon was a course that was full of hills. Had I not trained properly according to the race course, then it would have made for a very difficult race!
Forget your water. Yes, carrying a water bottle in your hand for a long run is obnoxious… Been there, done that. Thankfully a brilliant inventor came up with this little jewel. It carries your water for you and keeps your hands free.
Forget to EAT! This means that you will probably need to increase your caloric intake. When you start burning all those extra calories, you will need to eat more calorie dense foods to replenish those lost calories. You have to make the decision on how many based on your personal needs and current diet regimen.
Forget to stretch! This means to take good care of your sore muscles. You’re going to be sore and that’s okay! It’s how you handle your sore muscles that makes all the difference.
I repeat, do NOT do this alone. This means to find a support system. Get your hubby involved. Even if he doesn’t run with you, have him help keep you accountable. Tell him your run times and coordinate your schedules.
This way he’s got the kiddos and you can enjoy your runs. ESPECIALLY your long runs. Pushing a stroller for your long runs is just not going to be an option. Just don’t do that to yourself.
I’m super pumped for you. I’m totally not kidding. I am legitimately so pumped for you that you are chasing after this goal.
One of my favorite things about training for a distance race is the long runs. Even though they are exhausting and you are sore for a day or two afterward, the time alone and ability to just empty my mind of all of the craziness of the week and it’s just me and the road.
It’s so liberating.
I’m going to reiterate something. Do NOT forget to grab a plan to run your race. My eBook plus training plan is a perfect combo for getting you ready to go for your race and it’s super affordable.
You can totally do this. Don’t be nervous. Which, I know, is so much easier said than done. But use those nerves and put it towards your runs!
Enjoy the process, because, once you cross that finish line, it’s one of the most empowering feelings in the world.