Top Half Marathon Tips

At We are Weekend Warriors, we like our races.  Half marathons are a great experience and accomplishment.  We polled our runners for their top ten or maybe 11 list on how to be the most effective running a half marathon.

  1. Train: Training is a no-brainer.  You need to train for your half marathon.  Plan on training 10 – 15 weeks pending on your fitness level.   Yes, even if you’re fit, you’ll need 10 weeks to prepare.
  2. Get the right shoes: Shoes are the most important equipment here.  Get evaluated and fitted at your local running shop is the best way to get the right shoes for your feet, gait, and running style.  Oh yeah, and break the shoes in first!
  3. Run outside:  If you do most of your training on a treadmill, that’s fine.  But, be sure to run a few of your long runs outside.  The treadmill is convenient and a good tool, but it does not replace pounding pavement or trails.  Trust us, you will be much less sore afterward if you run a few times outside.
  4. Find your socks:  Ok, they’re in the sock drawer, but are they the right socks for you?  The right socks are almost as important as the right shoes.  Test out several pairs that are not a cotton blend.  Running a half marathon without blisters is very important.  Everyone has their own sock preference, so find the right one for you.
  5. Hydrate: If you’re a weekend warrior, you know this.  Hydration is key for both training and running the half marathon.
  6. Eat:  Whether it’s gels or jelly beans, be sure to eat on your long runs.  The quick calories will help you power through the long runs and feed the machine.
  7. Get your brain in the game: Getting mentally acclimated to running long runs is incredibly important.  Once you’ve overcome running longer distances, you are prepared an accustomed to exercising over longer periods of time.  Breaking through the mental boundary and being able to say “I can do this” and “I have done this” makes a half marathon a breeze (er, not completely).
  8. Body Glide:  Lifesaver in a tube.  No chafing.  Period.  Put it on your typical pain points and even your toes to stop blisters.  Make it part of your pre-run ritual.
  9. Bring some tunes:  Ok, not everyone agrees with this, but having some tunes or a book to listen to can take your mind off the run while running the half marathon.  If you are running with earbuds, be sure to check the race rules before running.  If it’s ok to run with earbuds, keep the volume low and listen with only one earbud in.  For safety, this will allow you to hear other runners and race officials.
  10. Get to the race early:  This tip is for all races.  It goes without say that it’s better to be early, get your bag checked in, and warm up before the half marathon is very important.
  11. Have fun:  While running at 5 am is a chore, know that you are one of the few athletes out there that have committed to and are running a half marathon.  You’re accomplishing great things and getting your body healthy, so enjoy it!

Where fitness meets real life