13.1 things no one tells you about running a half marathon

Have you ever wanted to wander into the land of the crazies and run a half marathon? Running long distance can sometimes come with unexpected situations. I’ve compiled a list of the 13.1 things no one tells you about running a half marathon.

first half marathon (2012)
first half marathon (2012)

  1. Anyone can do it. Yes even you! As long as you put in the training anything is possible.
  2. Follow a training plan. If this is your first half marathon I would suggest a 12 week training plan. You can join Runningmoms.com to find out more about training plans. Don’t come to the start line untrained, that’s how injuries happen.
  3. Your feet will need some post race TLC. Running has a nice way of messing up beautiful feet. Between the blisters and black toes nails, a pedicure is a must after running a half marathon.11640490_10155688399695640_1542226777_o
  4. The treadmill is fine but there’s no substitute for the road. I’m guilty of this. I tend to get a lot of miles in on the treadmill but I also try to incorporate 2 runs a week outside. You want to feel comfortable outside on different terrains and weather conditions which you miss on the treadmill.
  5. Recruit a training partner. It’s always great to have accountability and someone to share the experience with.
  6. Have a plan A, B and C. It’s great to set high expectations for yourself but sometimes things happen on race day that are out of your control. You never know if there will be a snow storm or gusting winds to battle or even some unexpected bathroom breaks. Expect the unexpected but don’t let it ruin your enjoyment of the race or feel disappointment if you missed your goal time.
  7. Do nothing new on race day. If you’ve been wearing the same shoes for your entire training cycle, race day isn’t the day to try a new pair. Same goes for what you have been eating, make sure to stick to what you know works. Race day isn’t the day to try something new.
  8. 12116000_907474746009080_5655660502116767804_nPrep the night before likes it’s your first day of school. Lay out all your clothes, set out your breakfast and make sure you have everything you’ll need out so you don’t need to think about it in the morning. Just grab and go. You will sleep better knowing you’re ready to go and have less stress to wake up to.
  9. Running is as much about mental strength as physical strength. During your training runs and the race your brain will be telling you to quit but I’m telling you that you can do it! Believing in yourself and all the training you’ve done is the key to getting over those mental obstacles.11536873_10155690713825640_2146471563_n
  10. You will tell yourself you’re never running another race again. However within hours of finishing the race you’ll be searching for the next race to register for.
  11. Running IS a team sport. When you are in the depths of your race and feel like quitting you will be surrounded by the most inspiring, uplifting people all rooting for your success. As you approach the finish line there are always runners cheering for each other into the home stretch.
  12. It will take a toll on your body much worse than any training run. You might have trained hard and ran a few 12 mile runs before but nothing prepares your body quite like race day. You will be sore and you will need to give yourself time to recover.

13.1 You will never forget crossing the finish line of your first race. That moment will mean a lot, as it should. You trained hard and deserved to feel very proud.


Tell me if I miss anything. What would you add to this list? I would love to hear from you.

4 thoughts on “13.1 things no one tells you about running a half marathon

  1. Great post! I just ran a half on Sunday (my 7th!) and was reminded how challenging and amazing it is to cross that finish line! #10 is me, every single time 🙂


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