Tips for Running a Half Marathon
With one of the Newport Halfs coming up here in April and the Providence Half Marathon in May, we thought we'd talk about some tips for Running a Half Marathon! Why not? Below are 5 tips to help you get through that next half of yours.
1. Train Properly
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The best tip for running a Half Marathon is to be prepared. The distance can be daunting, just thinking of running 13 miles can be tiresome! But proper training can help make race day a bit easier for you. Slowly building up milage over months is the best way to get work in and stay injury free. Too often folks end up doing too much too soon and hurting themselves, if you need guidance hiring a coach is a great way to get across the line in your best shape.
Hydrating is super important as you build up distance, its completely different than training for your typical 5k. As you run your body is using up resources, the more you sweat the more your blood volume decreases and the harder your heart works to get oxygen to your muscles. Hydrating will help decrease these effects and help you stay on track. Hydrate well before your run and if you’re going longer than an hour try to bring some water or a sports drink along with you. There are some great hydration belts out there, or if you’re running an event be sure to check that there are adequate water stops. Also it may be time to think about taking a GU along on those longer runs, check out this past blog post for info on what GU is all about.
3. Take it easy
13.1 miles is a long way. You can really get carried away early and dig yourself a big ol’ hole. Making sure you take it easy those first few miles are a great way to ensure that you’ll get across the finish line in one piece. I’ll typically try to negative split my half marathons where I’m running a little faster at the end of the race than at the beginning. There is literally nothing worse than getting to mile five of a half marathon, feeling terrible and realizing there are still 8 miles to go!
4. Wear the right gear
Test this stuff out! Finding the right gear can go a long way to making your half marathon a success. First off footwear is super important, make sure you have a shoe with the proper amount of support and fits correctly. We can help you out on that front if you’re not sure. For women the next piece of equipment is just as important, having a good sports bra is nessacary when running. We carry Brooks sports bras (formerly moving comfort) and have an expert sports bra fitter on staff to help you out, you can book an appointment via the button below. The next thing to think about is apparel, so what t-shirt are you going to wear? What shorts are you thinking about? Should you wear capris? All important questions. When trying apparel on pay attention to where seams fall and whether you think they could irritate you when you get further into a run!
5. Use your surroundings
A lot of Half Marathons will publish the course map well in advance of the race and you can use that to your advantage. If its local you can head over there and give it a preview run, get a feel for where those hills are, check out the scenery, maybe you start to push when you get to a certain landmark. During the race those little cues can help out tremendously. You can also use the runners around you to help get you through the run, just stick with that woman in the red tank top, or don’t let the guy with the fuel belt pass you! Race day can sometimes be overwhelming and keeping your mind on those simple tasks can make it just a little easier!
If you have any tips feel free to leave them in the comments section!