5 tips for a happier half marathon

Running-pic

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for runners: Fall racing season is upon us!

And at 13.1 miles, the half marathon is an ideal distance – long enough to pose a challenge, yet not so grueling that training will consume your life. Here are a few quick tips to ensure that next half is a happy one:

  1. Stick to a plan. Pick a goal and set a schedule to keep yourself motivated. If you’re worried about finishing, consider joining a local running club for camaraderie. Or if you’ve got your sights set on a particular time goal, try a training program to sharpen those racing skills.
  2. Think feet first. While magazine reviews and recommendations from friends are helpful, there’s no substitute for getting fitted with a proper pair of running shoes. Look for a place that offers a full assessment so you can find a model that will set you up for success.
  3. Rally the troops. Running can be a solitary pursuit, but you’re never alone on the road to 13.1. Find running buddies to make training runs more social, and invite family members to come cheer you on and experience the festivities of race day.
  4. Find what works. The morning of the race is not the time to test out new clothing, shoes or food. Use training runs for trial and error, and save the tried-and true techniques for the main event.
  5. Take your time. Get to the race early enough to enjoy the atmosphere before the gun goes off, and don’t rush out too quickly at the start. Try to take in the sights and sounds along the way, and savor your time at the finish line with a picture that captures the moment.

And afterwards? Flash that medal, and relish in the fact that you’ve just completed a 13.1-mile victory lap!

What’s your favorite piece of half marathon advice?

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