Hey all – I know you’ve been eagerly anticipating a new recipe or Try It Tuesday post, but today I have a treat for you! As part of the I’m Fit Possible community, I participated in a blog swap. I wrote a post for Lauren about mixing up your routine (check it out here) and she wrote a post for me. Take it away, Lauren!
Hello I’m Lauren and I blog over at Breathe Deeply and Smile. I’m an avid runner, massive sweet tooth, science nerd, and hippie at heart. My blog is all about my adventures in learning to live a happy, stress-free, and healthy life with lots of running along the way!
I was super excited to be paired up with Jess for the I’m Fit Possible blog swap today . We met last summer at a blogger meet up and have gone from virtual blogger to real-life friends and even met up to run together this winter. I love her unique blog and have enjoyed following her training for her first half marathon.
I started running around 3 years ago in the summer to help lose some of that college weight and get in shape. I signed up for a local 5K that fall to motivate myself and got bitten by the running bug, running my first half marathon a year later and my first full marathon another year after that. I suppose I dove head first into the sport! This weekend I’ll be running my 7th half marathon too. Since Jess is training for her first half marathon (and doing an awesome job!) I thought I’d talk about some race day tips for first-time half marathoners. Please note that I am NOT a professional or certified running coach or personal trainer-these tips are all from experience!
1. Stick to your routine.
Do NOT try any crazy new foods or out of the ordinary carb-loading the night before the race or on race day morning. Stick with what you have been eating (bananas and nut butter for me!) before runs and try to get a good night’s sleep. You need to do what has worked for you on past runs!
2. Be familiar with the course and the race day logistics ahead of time.
Know the logistics of the starting area and work out any possibly transportation-it’s better to not be stressing out race day morning. Also become familiar with the course map and look at the elevation to point out any miles that are going to be extra tough. Most big races also list at what miles they will be having water, Gatorade, or port-a-potties which is definitely something to look so you know what to expect.
3. Do not wear anything you have not run in before.
I KNOW it is super tempting to wear that witty running shirt you bought at the race expo the day before. DO NOT wear something on race day that you have never run in before. Once I made the mistake of running in a new tank on race day. I had serious chaffing and was irritated the whole race! You will be running 13.1 miles and want to be comfortable. Check the weather and test out any necessary rain or cold-gear you may need on race day!
4. Taper before the race and trust your training.
Most training plans have you tapering for two weeks, but you should at least be taking it easy the week of the race. Only do a couple of runs and don’t cash in that new Groupon for Crossfit or wear yourself out days before the race. All the work and training is done, so just stretch and relax!
5. Do not get caught up in your speed or time-enjoy it!
During the race, do not go out too fast even though the adrenaline will be pumping. Stick to your usual pacing and don’t worry about what your time or is. Enjoy the journey-it’s your first half marathon so you are already guaranteed a personal best!
Great tips, Lauren! Y’all know I’ll take any advice on this subject, so if you have any other tips or tricks you can provide about running a half marathon, type away!