Friday, April 18, 2014

{Friday Five} Half Marathon Tips

I ran a half-marathon a few weeks back and I thought I'd share some of the 5 best tips I learned through the process. Enjoy!

1. Find a running buddy! 
Even if they're in another city, having a friend to hold you accountable is the number one most important thing you can do to set yourself up for success. Knowing that your friend is logging the same miles you are makes you so much less likely to skip your runs. I was lucky enough to have two friends training with me and I know I couldn't have done it without their support!

2. Train. 
I know. Duh. Of course you should train. My friends and I used a training program that we found online and having the structure of what we should be doing helped guilt us into actually doing it.

3. Find a playlist that works for you.
Prior to my half, I only ran/exercised to fast-paced music. We're talking a lot of Lil Wayne and Eminem. And that was good, until I realized I was running at a pace I couldn't maintain for a long period of time, which, you know, is kind of important when you're running 13 miles straight. So instead of my normal playlist, I hopped onto one of my country Pandora stations and it was an amazing difference. The pace I kept was so much better and I still finished my runs in good time!

4. Good shoes.
Another "duh" moment, but seriously, get some good shoes! My friend was having awful shin splints at the beginning of our training and once she went to a local running store and bought a new pair that suited her running style, they completely stopped. It's a miracle! 
(My current shoes of choice are my Nike Free's... thanks Dad for turning me onto them!)

5. A good spirit. 
I don't know about you guys, but I'm the MOST MISERABLE RUNNER EVER. Runners high? Yeah right. More like runners CRY. I'm only half kidding about that. (Seriously, ask my boyfriend/friends/family I'm not exaggerating much here). To me, running is hard. It's something I feel like I can't do, which frustrates me to no end and can make me feel really negative while running. Obviously, my "angry runs" don't go very well. I don't run as far as planned and I feel defeated instead of triumphant at the end of my run. I started trying to be more positive while I ran. I thought about how far I had come since my first run, about how fun it was to be part of this "club" of people who run on purpose, and mostly, I thought about how amazing it would feel to cross the finish line at my half. Predictably, those runs were WAY more enjoyable and I ended them in much higher spirits. Having the right attitude can make or break your marathon training, so choose to be positive! I promise it will give you the boost you need. 

Have you ever run a half? Are you thinking of running one? I'd love to hear about what gets you through your hardest workouts!

xxo, Kristen

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