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So You're Training For Your First Half Marathon...

Posted Dec 13 2012 11:16am
Your People: "Have you lost your mind? You really want to be one of those insane joggers? I hear those idiots wake up before dawn just to put on tights and go jog around on the road for three hours... WEIRD. Don't do it!"

Your Response: "We don't jog. We run."

First, let me say, I'm SO FREAKING AMAZINGLY PROUD OF YOU! So what if I don't know you, I'm still super proud. This is a big deal. like whoa. 

Since I'm still sick and pouty and mad about it and have been holed up for almost two weeks now, I need to write about running. I miss my obsession. Thanks to my friend, Chels, for lighting the bonfire under my booty... here are some my tips for running your first half marathon ( THIRTEEN POINT ONE MILES OF AWESOMENESS!):

*I'm assuming you've already registered for your race; if you haven't... DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!
My first Half Marathon finish. 
1. Train: It will make the half marathon seem like a cakewalk. whatever that means. I'd suggest for your training program. Hal Higdon has trained many runners, including me and Brett and many of our marathoner friends. His programs are easy to follow, FREE, and he offers novice, intermediate, and advanced levels. Choose wisely.

2. Goal: Run to finish, and then and only then run for time. I have a hard time following my advice with this one. If you're anything like me you have a personal goal (and it's not just to finish) associated with the half. I say, go for it. But remember, you are only as fast as you train. And you can only train when you're healthy... so don't go ape-shit in the beginning of your training. Your body NEEDS time to adjust to the increase in mileage. I didn't get injured training for 26.2 because I listened to my body.

3. Be Smart: Listen to your body! If you're tired, achy, and/or hurting when you run... DON'T. It's okay to skip a couple runs; it won't impact you like you think it will. Be smart and run when you feel great and rest if you feel like death. 

4.  Laziness: I'm a marathoner and I still have trouble getting my running gear on sometimes (fine, a lot of times). It's normal. I thought I was the biggest sloth on earth because Brett NEVER has this problem. I mean, never. Everyone, except Brett who's an alien that I love dearly, has motivation issues. Here's a trick, put your gear on, set your watch, go outside. If you still don't want to run, then don't. If I had to guess? You'll run. Why? Because you're not lazy. You just have motivation issues when it comes to the getting dressed part of your run. duh.
Don't be this girl. 
5. Race: Run as many races as you can before your 13.1 mile big one. These smaller races (5K, 5 miles, 10K) will prepare you for the big dog. Racing is different than training. Your system will likely be more "active" (gross) and you'll have some nervees (pronounced nerve-ees) going on. Use the smaller races to dial in your pre-race ritual. 

6. Pre-Race Ritual: Have one. The ritual includes: when you go to sleep (EARLY), when you wake up, what you eat (or don't eat), what you drink (or don't drink), when you arrive, what you wear, what you bring with you, etc. Go to sleep an hour earlier than you think you should... if you lie awake in bed thinking for that hour you've tired your thoughts out by the time you actually should be sleeping. genius, I know.

7. Fun! Enjoy training, it's THE HARDEST PART! Seriously, once the 13.1 is here you'll be so overly prepared it will feel like a breeze. So, enjoy the training runs. Make up games when it gets boring... race people (who don't know you're racing them), race stationary objects up ahead (you'll always win), and smile ! Most people wouldn't dream of doing something so challenging. Be proud of your training and let others be proud of you for it!

More to come on running your first half; this is enough to digest for today. I'm hoping to be better this weekend so I'm able to run a cool three miles. Oh please, oh please, oh please!!

I hope you're well. I've missed you all very much. Tell me about your almost healthy adventures over the last two-ish weeks....... 
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