So you want to run a half marathon but have only run 5K’s or 10K’s so far?
Here are five tips that I wish I knew before I ran my first a half marathon:
1. Get a good pair of sneakers and socks!
Everyone tells you to go to your local running store to get fitted. I did and walked out with several pairs of sneakers that didn’t work for me. The best advice I can give you is to use trial and error.
Find a pair of sneakers that are comfortable and have plenty of room in the toe box. Your feet tend to swell, so I always get a half to a full size larger than I normally wear every day.
My arches are high and I like a shoe with lots of cushions. When I first started out, I purchased minimal/barefoot shoes because that was the craze at the time. After getting multiple injuries, I learned that I need a more supportive shoe with cushion for those extra long miles.
I also use custom inserts that I purchased from RoadRunner Sports in Berkeley, California. (They also have a shop in New Jersey.)
I’ve been wearing Balega socks since my first marathon in 2016 and I absolutely love them. I didn’t realize that running long caused blisters on my feet and after marathon training, I had blisters everywhere you can imagine. Now, with Balega socks and a little coconut oil on my feet, I barely get a blister!
2. Train Slow!
When I did half marathons in the past, I trained a little but not nearly enough. In the Galloway Method, we generally get up to 14 miles before competing in a half marathon. When we run 14 miles, we run it much slower than when we actually race. This helps to eliminate injury.
In the past before Galloway, I ran my 8 miles at normal speed and trained during the week. All at the speed I would run during a race. This lead to more injuries! So slow down. There is no need to run fast while you are doing your long runs.
3. Nutrition and Hydration
I thought that if I was training for a half marathon I didn’t need to care what went into my body. Now that I’ve been on MetPro for nearly a year, I learned that what you put in is just as important as what you put out!
A week before your half marathon, drink up! (And not alcohol, that will dehydrate you!) Drink water with electrolytes. Drink magnesium. I’ve been using MoxiLife’s magnesium product called HydraMag and have been very happy with it.
Do you know how you cramp up sometimes? HydraMag may not 100% eliminate that, but it does help it! I’ve been cramping less than I did in the past and have been very satisfied with the flavor, especially since there are little to no calories.
When I trained for the NYC Marathon, I ended up gaining weight. With MoxiLife, you won’t do that because there are practically no calories and everything that is in it, is good for you.
By eating right and hydrating, you will have a much better race!
I knew nothing about recovery after my first few half marathons. All I knew was, “I’m in pain all the time.” I’ve used rollers but they are incredibly painful. I have found that Myostorm, which has a product called Meteor, a ball that heats up and vibrates has been a real Godsend. It’s small enough to bring with me in the car or on the plane. I use it to massage those troubled spots and then when I’m finished, I use it all over my body.
I also like compression sleeves, like Normatec. I find that using them on my legs or on my hip really helps.
K-Tape is also amazing. I can’t believe that it actually works, but it does. I either use it during the event in those spots that tend to have nagging injuries or I use it after the event as part of my recovery.
5. Have Fun
One of my friends told me early on that when I cross the finish line, cross it with a big smile on my face and put out that victory pose (or what I call the signature pose). During my first few half marathons, I looked as if I were going to die. Now, I show the camera my big smile and joy in accomplishing another half marathon!
Share your most memorable half marathon tip with us!