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5 Tips for an awesome half marathon race experience

5 Tips for An Awesome Half Marathon

5 Tips for An Awesome Half Marathon

Make your half marathon awesome!

Do you have a half marathon coming up? Whether you a new comer to the 13.1 mile distance or a half marathon junkie, tips for race success are always helpful.  Every race can be so different and sometimes having a new trick or tip in your race day “tool kit” can be a big help.

  1. Relax. Easier said than done but on days when you are able to keep race day jitters to a minimum you are guaranteed to have the most fun and a greater chance of having a fast time. Take a few minutes the night before and the morning of the race to sit down in a quiet place and visualize your race plan When your nerves get the best of you just try to roll with it and let that extra jolt of adrenaline carry you along the course.
  2. Split the Race.  When racing longer distances I try not to think of the completing the whole distance.  Instead I break the race into manageable pieces. For example, when running a half marathon if you like running 5Ks. Complete a 5K and then imagine the next 5K as a whole new race and so on until you see the finish line in view. Playing this kind of mind game when you are racing can help you to focus on what is going well and to forget the tough parts.  
  3. Set 3 Goals. Set a dream goal–going for that mega P.R. Set a realistic goal–use your training and previous race experiences to predict a finish time. Set the goal of finishing the race with a positive attitude having enjoyed the race experience. Being comfortable with achieving any one of your goals before the race gun goes off can take the pressure off and allow you to relax at the starting line (see Tip #1)
  4. Wear tried and tested gearYou want to be comfortable on race day without the fear of surprise chafing or wicked blisters.  Choose gear that you know your feet and chafing prone areas will be comfortable in for 13.1 miles. Road test your gear prior to race day so that you don’t have a race day wardrobe malfunction if you know what I mean.
  5. Soak up the race day atmoshphere. Keep your eyes on the finish line but remember to enjoy the race.  Get to the race course early enough to pick up your race number and get your fueling and hydration for the race ready if you will be carrying your own. Leave time to hit the bathrooms (hopefully not porta potties) and to go for a warm-up that you have pre-planned.  Take some to time to check out the course and course maps.  When the race gets going stick to your plan but also look around and use the positive energy of the people cheering you on and the energy of the other racers to pull you through the tough parts. And most of all celebrate your finish and the race celebration at the finish line. You made it!

Good luck chasing your half marathon goals this season! Please share your best half marathon tips!

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34 responses

34 responses

  1. Splitting up the mileage in my head is one of the best tips. If I let my brain think of what I still have to run, it goes on a whole different path – usually to negative land! 3 miles at a time is less daunting.
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…Back to My Yoga MatMy Profile

  2. TOO’s! I find “Targets Of Opportunity” – people I want to pass. As soon as I pass that TOO, I find another one. Gives me little goals along the way, and a sense of accomplishment as I pass folks. 😀

  3. Great tips!!! I’m just the opposite of Amy…I try to pick local so I have less details to figure out. Just show up and run!

    1. I like local races too Nancy and there are so many great ones to choose from lately! Do you have a favorite half marathon?

    1. Which race will you be doing? I always feel so much more comfortable at the start of a race when I have my goals set in place!

    2. I ran my first half marathon last May. The best tip I had was to “stick with YOUR plan”… Meaning pace, hydration, nutrition, and pre- planned short walk breaks. I finished feeling good with a smile!

  4. Here’s another tip or two…

    Run where it’s PRETTY! (Buffalo Run on Catlina Island comes to mind…)

    Train over distance (so the race doesn’t seem as difficult come race day).

    1. Calming those nerves can definitely be the biggest challenge. I do best if I take a quiet moment for myself before going to the line!

  5. This is great. I am attempting my first race April 25 2015. I have 2 1/2 year old triplets. I’m knew to running long distance

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