So I have learned quite a few things since I started training to run Half Marathons four years ago. Improving my time has been one of the greatest results (Shaving off 30 mins) but also learning how to minimize obstacles that appear while running. Which has really allowed me to enjoy the distance. Through trial and error, friend's advice and reading. Reading really prepared me(I read This, this, and this) for a half marathon. And, I feel like I finally have a good compilation of tips to share. I hope you enjoy them!Get fitted: This is one of the most impactful things you can do for yourself yet it's the most overlooked.There are a lot of specialty running shoe stores that will give you a foot/shoe consultation. So you can determine what kind of shoes are best suited for you and your gait(running style).
Running Buddy: Sometimes running by yourself gets lonely or boring. So having a running buddy is a must, not only for keeping you accountable but for having good conversation.Yes, Friends can be the best distractions!
Clothing: No cotton! Tech clothes that wont chafe. I know running clothes can be expensive, but having a set of tech clothes is totally worth it!
Personalize: Practice your drinking and eating routine-which gels you'll use and when. You never want to get GI distress. But its better it happens during a trial run and you figured out what didnt work with your body .
Practice running similar terrain/course as your planned race course.
Carry it: You should definitely take a bit of Toilet paper with you just in case you have to make a pit stop.
Rub Bodyglide all over your body so you wont chafe.
Hydrate before long runs and during~bring some water with you if you're running more than 6 miles. You should see if running with a fuel belt or a cammelbak is your thing. I know a lot of people cant stand running with gear on, but I totally need my water!
Energy: There are a lot of different Gels on the market that work great. My favorite are GU and Powerbar gels. I've also tried chewable gels and jelly beans but it's too much chewing for me. I'd recommend trying a variety of Gels so you can figure out which ones you like and work well with your stomach.
Learn to take on a hill. Wether its down or uphill. It's important to learn how to lean into/away from a hill to maximize your energy/effort.
Nothing new: Make sure you don't try anything new on race day. That includes food, hydration,clothing and shoes. The time for experimenting is during your training! If you think you need new shoes for race day, break them in during your shorter distances, so if there is any pain/chaffing you will not be stuck with the problem for very long.
Band-aids : Place some on your heels-just in case
Hold the Music: Music is awesome and I love it! But try not using it for as long as possible during the race. It will create such a great boost of energy once you do that it will feel like you have fresh legs!
Imodium AD: My marathon friend recommended this for my first race and after training and getting GI Distress on some of my longer runs, I did as I was told. Because no one wants to get that awful feeling, specially on race day, when you're trying to run your best race!
I hope you enjoyed these tips:)!!!