So you've signed up for your first half marathon. Maybe you were peer pressured into it. Perhaps you signed up because your friends were doing it. Or maybe you set a goal to do something huge in the New Year. Whatever the reason, this is probably how you feel once the realization that you just paid money to run 13.1 miles sets in...
And you press the back button to see if you can un-do your registration...
Nope, there's no going back now. You're going to run a half marathon! Here's the silver lining, the scariest part of this entire ordeal is over. (I said scariest, not easiest.) Committing to run an endurance race is half the battle. You are standing at the foot of a very scary mountain, we will call it half marathon mountain.
No, no, no, no don't panic!
Snap out of it!
NO! Stop it! No one is going to die. Running a half marathon is only scary because it feels impossible. It's not impossible! Yes, it's going to be tough. Sure, it's probably going to hurt. Just think of yourself like Dorothy when she lands in Oz. Your training plan is your yellow brick road.
OK! Bad analogy! Alright, here are some tips to ensure that you cross that half marathon finish line like a boss:
Step 1: Get Your Training Plan.
There are multiple different places to find a training plan. You can use a running app on your smartphone like RunKeeper or you can even find one here on Run, Selfie, Repeat CLICK HERE.
Step 2: Look The Part
From running clothes to running gear, there are some things you are going to need. CLICK HERE for a run down on what you'll need and how to acquire it without breaking the bank.
Step 3: Break Down Your Plan Weekly
Plan your schedule on a weekly basis. Assess what you have going on in your work and personal life. Physically pencil the time you will take to run or cross train into your schedule. Anticipate speed bumps and road blocks because life is going to happen. Things are going to pop up and get in the way. By being a step ahead you will be able to roll with the punches or skip a training day when something comes up. Try to stick to your schedule as much as possible but expect the unexpected.
Step 4: Find a Running Group or Training Buddy
Training for your first race by yourself? AMAZING! I trained for both my first half marathon and a marathon all by my lonesome. (Mostly because I was intimidated to run with anyone else.) Training with a group or with a friend is so much easier and more fun than going it alone. Check out the website meetup for running meetup's in your area. Enlist your co-workers! Stop by or call your local running stores like Road Runner Sports or Lulu Lemon. Most offer free weekly runs that you can join. Or run with a charity! All are great ways to meet new people and stay on track.
Step 5: Don't Get Discouraged
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Don't try to cut corners or cheat your training plan. Increase your mileage slowly and try to include some cross training. As the weeks progress and your long runs start getting longer, let your fears fuel your fire. You can do it, you just have to try. There are going to be terrible shitty runs. There will be discouraging days where you will walk away thinking you're never going to be able to run a half marathon. Keep going. It's just one foot in front of the other.
Until tomorrow, #RunSelfieRepeat.