Have you ever run a distance and wished there was more to it? It can be overwhelming at times, especially if you’re running a half marathon or another race with an official distance requirement. It can get boring after a while. Especially if you’re like me and love to have fun during my runs, add some colour to your race by considering changing up the pace at around miles 12-13, for example. This will introduce some freshness into the middle stages of your race and make for a more effortless finish. For example, running a 10k before adding a half marathon would be challenging from the get-go, but adding in the final few miles would be too much. You’d be asking yourself, “Is this too much?” by mile 10 or so and getting tired by mile 13 or so. That’s not going to fly with most people! A simple change like that can go a long way to keeping things exciting at your half marathon race without taking away from its difficulty beforehand. If you don’t know how long your full marathon is yet, aim for 6-8 miles between finishers (Mile 12-13). The additional 2-3 miles should feel like running around your neighbourhood or another track you know well instead of through the streets of Boston Overall, it shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to complete both races, but feeling faster in the final few miles will give you that added edge! Try these out for your next race, and let us know how it goes!

 

Ditch the hills

Many half marathoners worry that running up and down hills will be too hard in the middle of their race. But the truth is, running up and down hills isn’t the most challenging part of a half marathon. It’s the part where you’re actually running! The part where you’re performing the most strenuous exercise of your day. Hills are actually deceptive. If you look at the map of Boston and notice there are lots of hills in the city, you’d probably be happier going with a half marathon that follows the same route as the marathon.

 

Run fast

To make the most of your half marathon, you need to be moving as fast as possible. It would help if you pushed your pace as hard as you can. But how does one go about doing that?

One way is to pick a pace that feels comfortable but energetic. This pace should be neither too slow nor too quick. It’s a happy medium where you’re able to move but remain efficient freely. It’s the pace you’d want to run in just about any race situation.

Another way is to pick a pace that feels slightly slower than your comfortable pace. This is slower than what you’d typically run in training, but it’s also not too slow. It’s the speed you want to run in your race when you want to push yourself and get the job done.

Of course, there’s no right or wrong way to run a half marathon. But what matters most is that you push yourself as hard as you can throughout the entire race and finish feeling like a champion!

 

Take a rest

After a while, your legs will start to complain. They’ll be ready to give out at any moment. To avoid this, take a short break halfway through your half marathon and, if you’re running the whole thing, take a short break after the final finisher’s circle.

 

Use your music

Your running playlist should feature songs that get your blood pumping and encourage you to go hard. This doesn’t mean mainstream hip-hop or pop. Something more diverse would be even better. Try to find songs that are upbeat and fast but not too loud. You don’t want to be distracted from your race, especially by an obnoxious piece.

 

Maintain a positive attitude

Running a half marathon is hard work. It’s physically demanding, mentally taxing and emotionally draining. But if you want to finish it, you need to maintain a positive attitude throughout the entirety of the race. You can do this by reminding yourself of a few things:

 

You’re running a half marathon!

This is a big deal. It’s not like running a 5k or even a full marathon. This is the exact middle-of-the-road distance. And you’re doing it! You can do this!

 

You’re a runner

There’s no doubt about it. You’ve been running for years, going from one race to another and improving with every finish line you cross. And now you’re running a half marathon! You can do this!

 

It’s not easy, but it is fun.

Running a half marathon is hard work. It takes a lot of time, effort and patience to go through the entire race without stopping and without getting injured in the process. But if you want to finish it, you need to enjoy the whole experience because that will make all the difference!

 

Warm-up before your race begins

Before your race begins, make sure that you warm up your muscles by running around the starting area or by doing some light stretches on your own time. This will help prevent injury later on while also increasing blood flow throughout your body and making your muscles more elastic before they get put through their paces during the actual race itself.

 

Don’t start too fast or too slow.

You want to start your race off strong, but you don’t want to start too fast. If you do, you’ll be out of breath and winded early on, and it will be harder for you to catch your breath later on in the race.

Don’t start too slow, either. You don’t want to fall behind or get lapped by other runners who are going faster than you are.

 

Stay hydrated

If you feel like you’re getting thirsty or if your mouth is dry, then drink some water before it gets too bad. If that doesn’t help, then stop at the next water station and refill your bottle or hydration belt with water so that you can continue running without becoming dehydrated.

 

Keep a steady pace

Running a half marathon is a lengthy endeavour, and there will be times when things get tough and when you have doubts about whether or not you can finish the race. But if you keep a steady pace throughout the entire experience, then those doubts will disappear sooner rather than later. Sure, there will be times when your pace slows down, but as long as it doesn’t get too slow, then this won’t be an issue at all! Just focus on maintaining a good pace throughout the entire experience!

 

You’ve already done most of the work.

When you look back, it will all seem worth it. The long training runs, the early mornings, and the late nights spent on your feet will be forgotten in an instant. In fact, they’ll probably feel like they never happened at all because you did them so long ago that your mind has already forgotten them!

 

Go for a jog

If you’re a more advanced runner and have a couple of miles left before your finish, consider taking a jog around your neighbourhood or another track you know well. This will give you a different perspective on how far you really have to go. It’ll also help you make the most of what you have left.

 

Keep It Simple

Running your first half marathon can be intimidating. But if you take it slow and keep it simple, you’ll be able to get through it with ease. There are plenty of things you can do to make your race more enjoyable, but there are also many things that will only get in the way. Keep these tips in mind, and enjoy your next half marathon!

 

Don’t hesitate to drink!

One of the best ways to avoid feeling like you’re running out of gas is by drinking. This isn’t a given when you’re running a half marathon, but you need to keep your hydration levels up. Water is the best source of sodium for runners, and, for some reason, beer doesn’t count.

 

Keep having fun!

Finally, don’t forget to have fun during your half marathon! It’s one of the essential parts of any race. Make it a point to enjoy your race and the company you’re with. If you’re having fun, you’ll be able to push yourself harder than you would have. This is why it’s so important to have fun when running a half marathon.

 

Summary

If you’ve been running half marathons for a while and are worried about getting too old or have ideas of how to pace yourself, don’t be. Walking yourself at a half marathon is all about finding the right balance between challenging and accessible. Easy running in the early parts of the race is enough to get you where you want to go while challenging your fitness in the later stages.