I’m the type of person that if I say I’m going to do something, then I’m going to do it. After I watched my friends complete the NYC marathon last fall, I made a goal that I would run a half marathon. Cannot believe that now I am only 3.5 weeks away from running my first half marathon. Luckily my friends are doing it with me and we will all be heading to DC in April to run the Nike Women’s Half Marathon.
I am excited, anxious, and nervous. Mostly excited, and proud that I’ve disciplined myself to stick to a regimen that will help me prepare for the race. Surprisingly it’s been a lot of fun; I’ve pushed myself to new limits that have helped me feel a lot stronger and healthier. I’d be lying if I said it was easy…I think the hardest part is staying focused and making sure you run 3-4 times a week. It’s been more challenging mentally than physically. You have to be patient – so for me being the sprinter that I was this in high school, it took several runs to finally get used to the fact that this isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon! My goal is to complete the half under or around 2:10:00 (10 min per mile)!
– Make sure to get on a schedule (whether you create one for yourself or use an app – I used My Asics as a basis, but also created my own schedule on the right
– Track your runs – hands down the best app for running is ‘Map My Run’ – it will track, and give you a breakdown of your route, distance, duration and pace. It also has a voice activated that notifies you of your pace and distance after every mile
– During the week I would either run during lunch or after work. On weekends I would run in the morning (before my weekend runs I would make sure to eat peanut butter on toast)
– I would stretch for a good 10 minutes after every run and even on my ‘rest’ days – it’ll help avoid injury and avoid your muscles from cramping up
– If you are a beginning runner make sure to run at a pace that feels comfortable to you
– It’s good to adjust your pace and push yourself from your comfort zone. So if I knew I could run 10 min miles I would push to 9 min miles. Recently I’ve pushed myself to go for less than 9 min miles
– For longer runs (more than 6 miles) I occasionally would take an energy gel shot
– Feel free to cross train – cycle/ spinning, yoga, boot camp – I have a gym membership so I took advantage of the classes offered
– Sneakers – I always ran with Nike sneakers and while I do LOVE Nike, for longer distances every runner I know suggested that I switch to Asics. Asics give my feet great support and still feel light.
– Gear – when I signed up for a 5k a couple of years ago I purchased this flip belt– it’s great for carrying your cell, keys and credit cards. And best of all it stays in place; you’ll hardly notice you’re carrying your phone around your waist!
If any of you runners have suggestions, advice or tips on training for a half marathon please feel free to share! Happy running! :)