7 Things to Know Before Your Half Marathon

7 Things to Know Before Your Half Marathon

Signed up for a half marathon. Checked.

Calender marked. Checked.

Ready to start training. Checked.

Logging miles is what is consuming your mind now…

Just hold that thought…It’s crucial to log miles, but it is not the only essential…

Also, this will never ensure to carry you beyond that coveted finish line…

Then what else do you need?

Here are some things that you should implement for your half-marathon to be a roaring success…

On this picture are group of participants in half - marathon.

1. Have sufficient preparation time

To run a half-marathon, you would need to have a preparation time of at least 14-16 weeks.

However, if you are a beginner and this is your first half-marathon, I would recommend that you have atleast 24 weeks of training before the race.

A half marathon group is running.

Also, during this period, you must stick to the running plan that you have chosen. There are different half-marathon training plans available for different timings.

You should select one based on your current fitness level and timing goals. However, selecting something a bit more challenging for you is preffered.

This way, you will see a significantly more improvement in your abilities by the end of the training if you implement only this.

2. Train in your running gear and nothing new on the race day

Training in your running gear is one of the most important things that you can follow during your training.

This will help you to avoid any kind of surprises and discomfort on the race day.

So, follow the “nothing new on the race day” rule and prepare during the training.

A guy is running in a gym suit.

However, even if you follow this advice to the ‘T’, some mishaps may happen…You running shoe may develop an unexpected hole in the upper or the outsole may fall apart.

If this happens then how will you follow the “nothing new” rule?

The solution is a simple…

Have two or three sets of running gears including your running shoes. Keep them rotating throughout the training period, every couple of weeks.

This will keep all of them ready on race day. Even if one falls apart you still have the other back up options.

3. Secure Your Hair

This tip is applicable to runners who have longer hair at the front. When you run, this hair will keep bouncing and will be all over your face.

This may block your vision and will stick on your face due to the sweat. This quickly becomes a nightmare to manage and will definitely mess up your pictures.

Having them securely put back in a ponytail or in braids will help you avoid all these.

A girl is securing her hair for running.

Try to avoid metal hair bands or hair bands altogether. If you cannot tie the hair into a ponytail or in a braid, go for a headband. This will at least keep your hair out of your face.

Another measure for runners with smaller hair is to go for a crew cut. This looks cool and will serve the purpose. But this measure is kind of extreme and may not be a preferred choice for most of us.

4. You’re race-ready if you can run 10 miles

Most beginners have a misconception that they need to be able to run the full 13.1 miles during the training to be ready for the race.

However, the truth is, if you can run 10 miles during the training, you are more than ready for the race.

Don’t get discouraged that you cannot run the whole 13.1 miles yet. You will do that on race day.

If you think that you will not be able to run that extra 13.1 miles, then think again. There is something about the race day energy that makes you push yourself. That adrenaline rush that you get will make you do it.

In case, it gets impossible for you to run those extra miles, (which I’m sure you will be able to do), just walk. There is no shame in that.

Create a packing checklist

Well, this is self-explanatory. Without this checklist, you are bound to miss out on some of the essential gears.

Shopping at expos may be an option, but then again, the “nothing new on race day” rule will kick in…

So, here is a comprehensive list of items that you may need to carry…Add anything else that you would personally need…

There is a race packing checklist on this picture.

Image credit: Madhusree from bestplaygear.com

5. Focus on recovery even while training

Recovery is not reserved for after the race day. It is also an important part of your race training. This will ensure that you get stronger and your body will become more efficient.

In short, those rest days are important. Include those in your training.

Also, on those rest days, schedule some light exercises that will get your blood flowing. A relaxing yoga session or an easy run will be ideal. This will help you to recover faster.

Include some foods like beetroot into your diet. Beetroot has nitric oxide which to some-extent enhances your ability to recover. However, this will not enhance your performance in any way as a study shows.

6. Strength training is a must

A girl is having a leg muscle training.

Running is fun in itself. It is hellishly addictive. However, we runners have a tendency to skip on our strength training altogether.

This leads to a lot of injuries and you have to stop running frequently. Also, your performance will not improve after a certain level.

In other words, strength training is a must. Focus on a routine that strengthens your core, glutes, and hip flexors.

Here are some workouts to help you strengthen these muscle groups.

Also, here are some additional hip flexor strengthening exercises for runners to ensure that your chances of sustaining an injury are minimized.

7. Have a race day plan

Make sure that you have a race day plan and it is easy enough to follow. This will stop you from grappling with different details on the race day. Also, it will reduce your anxiety.

Here are some of the things that you may include in that plan:

There is a daily plan of race.

Although you may have prepared for this half-marathon properly, there is still a possibility that something may go wrong.

Also, the truth is no matter how much careful you have been, not everything will go as planned. And that’s perfectly fine. Your body may just not support you today as much as you hoped for, you may not hit your PR goals, it may suddenly start to rain, the terrain is not as you have hoped for, and so on…

No matter what goes wrong, your focus should be to cross that finish line and earn that medal that you worked so hard for.

Running 13.1 miles is an incredible achievement and you deserve to show it off no matter how imperfect the race was.