Training for a Half Marathon isn’t easy. It’s something you really need to commit to and feel ready to be able to take it on! Training is something that can be tough at times, but once it’s “game day” it’s all worth it because you’re ready to rock and roll! I’ve run two 1/2 marathons in my lifetime and training for them was something I needed to make sure I fit into my life. I want to share with you how I trained and give you some really solid and honest tips on How to Train for a Half Marathon.
How to Train for a Half Marathon
The first one was in May of 2012. I ran it to raise money for Dana Farber in Boston, MA. My older brother Keith ran it with me and it was one of the best races ever because he motivated me and made me laugh throughout the entire half. He never let me back down or give up… and I needed that encouragement. When that medal was around my neck, it was very emotional. I had done it.
The second half marathon I ran was in February 2of 2015. It was Disney’s Princess 1/2 Marathon and I did it with 2 of my blogging friends – Nadia and Natalie. We trained virtually with each other and showed up dressed as princesses (I was Aurora) and ready for a magical time! It was a super fun half marathon because (well, 1st!) it was at Disney World and there were SO MANY people cheering you on throughout the race, you just were carried by the crowd! Not to mention, everyone was there for each other, which was amazing.
I recently signed up for Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon. I have heard the BEST things about this race, so I truly cannot wait for it! I’m not doing this one alone… I’ll be running with my husband, Vera Sweeney and her husband Bill, my friend Caitlin and a few other blogging friends! It’s going to be a blast! The race is November 5th, so we have some time, but training really needs to begin now. Since this isn’t my 1st rodeo when it comes to running 1/2 marathons, I wanted to give people out there some advice who might be training for their 1st. I’ve read lots of articles, blog posts and books about training and it’s one of those things you need to be prepped and ready for!
10 Tips – How to Train for a Half Marathon:
1. Make sure you find a Half Marathon that excites you. There are so many options out there when it comes to finding one that suits you. The first one I did was in my hometown of Providence, RI. I knew that I could have my family there cheering me on and that excited me!
2. If you know you need extra motivation and encouragement, try recruiting some friends and/or family to run it with you. You’ll have a buddy to train with and you’ll have someone to hold you accountable for training and race day. I needed my brother for my first one. I was so nervous about running by myself and just getting too tired. I knew he would keep me going and keep my motivated. He was the PERFECT running buddy for me.
3. Give yourself time to train. You don’t want to sign up for your 1st half marathon with little time to train. Make sure you have a good 4-6 months to give yourself the time to get your body ready for the race. I signed up last week for a November race. I knew I needed the extra time to get myself in shape and ready for the half.
4. Make sure you have the proper sneakers. One of the biggest things you need to make sure is that you have the right “equipment.” My advice would be to get properly fit and find the exact sneaker for you. You need it to feel good and make sure it’s a fit for your training. Don’t just buy a pretty sneaker off a shelf! And believe me, you know I would do that! 😉
5. Create a great music playlist. One of the first things I need a couple of weeks ago was create a playlist. I needed to find music that would keep me going and not give me a second to stop. It was really fun to do and I loved finding the perfect music for myself.
6. Find a training program. If you’re able to hire someone to help you out, great! I wasn’t able to do that option, so I found an awesome training plan online. Hal Higdon has AMAZING plans for different races. I followed his training to a “T” for my 1st half! It’s amazing. It gives you a breakdown for every single day, 12 weeks out.
7. Drink lots of water and keep yourself hydrated. This is something I still need to get better at doing. Whenever you’re done training for the day – DRINK WATER! Make sure you’re always keeping yourself hydrated. And when you’re running the half, keep yourself hydrated, too!! VERY IMPORTANT.
8. Stretch. Stretch. Stretch. Make sure you’re stretching before and after. And not dinky little stretches. Get down and really give your body the time to get all the muscles stretched and feeling good.
9. Keep a Training Journal. I know this is something that not everyone has the time to do, but it’s worked for me. Keep a little journal jotting down how you feel after you run. There are days I feel horrible. Days I feel good. Days I feel like I could run for hours. I just quickly jot things down. I love going back to check it out. Especially on the days I didn’t feel good, always makes me feel good to know I had other days that I didn’t feel my best, too!
10. Have fun! You’re training for a half marathon for a reason – enjoy the process. Not many people in their lifetime will do a half marathon. Embrace the fact that you’re doing this and have FUN!
I hope these tips on How to Train for a Half Marathon help you out! It was the best thing I’ve done for myself! It challenged me and I loved it!
Make sure you check out Hal Higdon, too! He’s a fantastic guru in the world of running and training.
Also check out my post on my 1st ever 1/2 Marathon!