A half marathon for beginners should not be a race filled with pre-race stress.
Are you a total novice at the distance?
Have no idea where to start, what to think or how far to run?
You have a lot to offer to our great sport. Remember, being new can teach advanced level runners such as myself and the RDA readers a lot as well.
So, I encourage you to leave a comment. Also, tell me about how you have been feeling in training and what your plans are.
Beginners Are An Open Book
What I absolutely love about beginners is their thirst for knowledge.
Of course, experienced veterans like myself and other runners have our own expertise as well.
That being said, a beginner is brand new to the running scene. In addition, can make improvements.
I have a guy I coach who went from 4.40 to 3.27 in the marathon. Also, earned a Boston Marathon qualifier in a matter of a few months. So, A half marathon for beginners should always focus on the goals they have.
This is only one of many other examples that could be said about how much a beginner can teach us.
Tips For Success
Below are 13.1 half marathon tips for beginners that help take your running to a new level.
1. Stay relaxed. The most common thing you will see at races is tense and up-tight runners who are not relaxed.
Remember, you have done the work leading into the race.
Why waste mental energy thinking about the ‘what if's'? Remember, don't try to analyze about the outcome. Also, that goes for veterans as well.
Set Yourself Up For Success
If you walked into a room full of light bulbs and one was flickering, which one would you notice first?
The thousands doing the same thing or the one that looks different?
Easy answer right.
So, advanced runners like myself and others can learn from beginners. A half marathon for beginners or really any other race distance should be one that is run relaxed, calm and confident.
Follow that advice and you will get the most out of yourself on race day. Remember, a relaxed athlete will get the most out of his or her body.
Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend.- Bruce Lee
Motivation cannot be taught.
The key difference between successful beginners and advanced level runners is their motivation lasts.
Successful people in all areas love what they do too much not to be a success.
Ultimately, it is up to you. It is like a reading a book on a subject and then never applying anything you learned in it.
The coach can be there for the athlete and provide suggestions. That being said, the coach cannot make the athlete get out the door. A half marathon for beginners should be an opportunity to build confidence.
So, It is up to you. The truth is everyone has a high level of motivation. In addition, everyone can do something well. That being said, the enthusiasm you bring to the task is what determines your success rate.
This goes back to persistence. The half marathon takes a combination of both speed and endurance.
What is your goal? Is it to run this distance to lose weight or just to give a half marathon a try? Do you have a specific time goal in mind?
Making goals makes the hard training worth it.
I had coaches over the years who I continue to learn from. That being said, even these world renowned distance running experts could not make me train.
So, it was up to me.
The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen – Lee Iacocaa
Wear the Proper Shoes
There are many runners training without the proper training shoe on their feet. Are you a pronator or a supinator? So, what is the proper shoe you should have on your feet is what you should keep in mind.
It isn't just about the workouts.
What are you doing in the other hours of your 24 hour day? Are you making wise choices that will only magnify your hard work?
Visiting your local running store is a great plan for success.
Remember, too much fast training will not make you successful. Recovery is important too. So, you don't win a race in practice.
You can have the greatest workouts but what counts is the race.
Test your limits in training. Also, practice how your body responds to faster running. You will see drastic changes in pace. In addition, great racing and fitness.
Don't Neglect Hydration
One of the biggest mistakes I have made in my marathon career has been not drinking enough during the race.
There are usually aid stations every 2-3 miles in the half marathon distance. So, you don't want to neglect the chances you will have to drink.
Don't just grab a cup and sip. Sipping is certainly better then bypassing the drinks altogether. Remember, drink the entire contents as best you can.
If possible grab more than one.
I also encourage you read the importance of hydration.
You have worked too hard in training to ruin your race over not drinking. Remember, what are you doing the other parts of your day to be successful?
Running is only part of it. You can practice taking in fluids on your long runs. So, take a water bottle with you. It is a win-win situation to stay hydrated while working hard.
Listen To Your Body
Don't wait to start taking care of an ache that you noticed days or weeks ago. So, address the problem as it occurs and early.
Icing is always a good first step. I have had many injuries over my 30-year running career. That being said, could have had far more had I not took action quickly when I noticed it.
It only took a few to notice what I was doing wrong and that was not acting as fast as I could.
Always address an ache or soreness when it arises. So, don't continue to run through an injury and not take some form of rehab for it.
If you have knee soreness a great trick I use is I fill up styrofoam cups and put them in the freezer.
Once frozen I just massage my knees with them. You can peel off the sides and massage your knee.
Seek A Mentor
Do you have a specific time you want to run in the half marathon distance?
Do you see someone doing something in the sport you would like to do?
This sport isn't just about elite running. I truly enjoy talking about running, fitness, goal setting. I always encourage my readers to share their stories.
Get a great training plan.
This is crucial.
How much easier to get where you want to go with a tool that will get you there quicker and with less stress.
A half marathon training schedule tells you where you are going. In addition, shows you how to get there. Lastly, will ensure you are achieving the success you deserve.
We all want success right? So, having an action plan can help hold you accountable and add motivation to an already demanding sport.
If you can't have fun in this distance or any other distance for that matter, you are missing out.
Do Not Lose Enthusiasm
I started running my best races when I simply let go of stress.
I just do the work, put in the training and have faith in what I do.
So, you start to have goals for yourself that involve time.
Remember, don't let the goals or event get in the way of your joy and happiness.
Your worst day is still a blessing because you have health.
You have loved ones around you that care about you. In addition, you have others around you who can or will hold you accountable.
You also have the same people to rejoice with you when things go right.
Remember, with friends and family things care for you whether to win or lose.
11. Practice your race pace if you have a time goal in mind
You may just want to run this distance for fitness or simply to test yourself.
You can spice up your training by practicing running at faster paces. Remember, too much easy jogging may bore you. Faster running will help you sustain race pace longer.
If you have never run a half marathon before don't lose hope if you get to the middle of the race and have to walk.
This happens to even the best runners in the world. There is a reason for this and if interested you can read more about it but the key is to finish if you have never run one before.
If you are more experienced at the distance, have run a few I am assuming you have certain times in mind and that is really where patience comes in. There will be days when you are trying to hit specific splits and your legs just aren't doing the job.
Don't let it ruin your day. If you have to slow down and run the rest of a planned hard workout jogging, do so. Your body will never lie to you and if it needs more recovery you will do more for it by listening then by ignoring what it is telling you.
Runners give up and get frustrated. That being said, the key is not look back and regret that you didn't give yourself a chance due to being impatient.
So, be patient, stay focused and keep moving.
Want It More.
Also, never give energy to something that is useless to you anyway.
Our lives are already far too short. So, don't waste your precious energy on anything that is not going to move you forward to your goal.
Go after your goals, want it, dream about it, then work to achieve it.
You get to do something that others may not have the luxury to do.
Reminding yourself of how fortunate you are to do what you do will keep you motivated. In addition, focused and motivated when you want to quit.
A thankful athlete is happier, more in-tune with their body and relaxed. These characteristics will help you stand out come race day.
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