I started running in 2008. But 2011 was the first year that I ever even considered running a Half Marathon and I did 5 that year! Yes, I got hooked.
(No photographer at #4)
My first one was my most enjoyable and my 5th one, the least. In fact, the 5th one left me wanting a do over! Unfortunately, after the 5th, I broke my ankle, then had a stress fracture so Half Marathon #6 came 16 months later in 2013 and I was just glad to finish.
If I stay healthy, I would like to run at least 2 half marathons each year. Maybe one in the spring and one in the fall. (There are so many out there that I will probably not repeat one.) There’s one in Portland Maine that looks really fun. But so far, I am registered for one nearby in October and one in Florida next January.
Why run Half Marathons:
- It is hard and it gives you tremendous satisfaction when you finish.
- You get a medal.
- It motivates you to get out the door and run several times each week.
- It makes you increase your miles.
- It gives you an excuse to plan a vacation around a race.
- You don’t have to be fast.
- It really is doable (Anyone can! Some even are walker friendly.)
- The training isn’t as time-consuming as for a marathon.
- Get good running shoes
- Learn to fuel (try different kinds and stick with what works on race day)
- Hydrate – it may not be important on short runs but it is on long ones – use the water stops during the race
- Increase your long runs gradually – I usually add one mile each week and stop at 12 – your adrenaline on race day will get you through the last mile
- However, don’t cheat on long runs – some people can run 8 or 10 mile & are able to do 13 – I wouldn’t recommend it
- Don’t forget to taper – you don’t want to have tired legs for that important day
- Dress appropriately – that is for 20 degrees cooler than at the start (so bring throwaway clothing)
- Wear a GPS when training and for the race – it helps you keep track of time, distance and most importantly pace
- Start out slow – it will pay off during the second half – you’ll want to be able to run across that finish line and smile!
- Don’t be embarrassed to take walk breaks – it’s better than hitting a wall at mile 10 or getting injured and having a DNF
- Enjoy the experience. Soak up the atmosphere. It is supposed to be fun!
- If possible, take pictures or buy a race photo – you’ll won’t regret having a visual reminder of the experience
Click HERE to read an article about women running half marathons.