So that you’ve determined to run a half marathon, and also you’re pumped. You’ve shared your race entry in your socials and have set out on a model new pair of trainers. 

That is going to be wonderful.

There are numerous articles on the market about the way to prepare for a half marathon. Nonetheless, there are some issues it is best to learn about race day itself. 

Crossing the end line could also be some of the rewarding experiences of your life. 

Nonetheless, it’s not going to be an ideal journey from A to B. It’s more likely to be messy, stuffed with sudden hitches, and the last word check of your muscular tissues. Likelihood is, one thing is not going to go the way in which you anticipate.

So, it’s our job to ensure you’re as ready as doable. With out additional ado, listed below are 9 issues nobody tells you about working a half marathon.

1. You’ll have to take a position financially.  

Operating gear doesn’t cease at an incredible pair of trainers.

High quality, breathable garments, race entry charges, and any equipment (equivalent to a smartwatch or water bottle) can add up quick.

It may be really easy to get caught up in issues to attempt, too. Power gels to slurp mid-race? Hydration pack working vest? How do you say no? 

No matter gear you find yourself with, ensure you attempt it out on a future earlier than race day! 

That fancy working pack may start to chafe after an hour of working, these tasty gels may really upset your abdomen.

Briefly: Don’t do something new on race day.

Plus, there’s that mouth-watering, post-race victory meal. Be sure to finances nicely!

2. Operating is simply as a lot psychological as bodily. 

It’s vital to achieve muscle power and endurance for the large day, however you’ll want to coach your mind simply as a lot.

Your thoughts will seemingly attempt to stop on you lengthy earlier than your muscular tissues do. 

At that time, you’ll must dig deep within your self for these final scraps of willpower.

Make sure to construct up your psychological toughness with longer coaching runs. Begin doing these nicely earlier than you step as much as the precise beginning line. 

Do your lengthy coaching runs at a sluggish, comfy tempo – don’t attempt to run quick or hit your goal race tempo in case you have one, it’ll burn you out.

Lengthy coaching runs are all about constructing endurance, not velocity.

3. Begin line adrenaline can destroy your race.

The beginning line of a half marathon is a breeding floor for adrenaline.

All these months of coaching, plus a few weeks tapering (if you progressively wind-down your exercises to be prepared for race day), means your physique is primed and able to carry out.

Nonetheless, that begin line buzz may cause you to exit too quick. It’s some of the widespread errors that rookie half marathon runners make. 

The beginning pistol fires and also you head out, feeling such as you’re working on air. You test your GPS and may’t imagine how briskly you’re working, so determine to try to stick with it.

Inevitably, you progressively burn via that preliminary adrenaline and end up slowing down, getting fatigued, and really feel the wall looming. 

Beginning too aggressively is a fast method to exhaust your legs and find yourself having to stroll.

So from step one, stick with your goal tempo – and if you happen to don’t have a goal tempo, select a snug, conversational tempo and goal to keep up it all through your 13.1 miles.

4. It’s best to have a good friend ready on the end line with a contemporary change of garments.

On the finish of that many miles, nobody seems to be their finest. Nobody feels their finest. 

Are you aware what makes them really feel higher? Peeling off the outfit that has soaked up all their efforts over hours of working and placing on one thing clear.

As soon as your physique cools down, you’ll be glad you stored the nippiness away with one thing dry.

5. Your feelings shall be far and wide.

So many issues can occur over the course of 13.1 miles.

A sneaker may start to rub and chafe. Your abdomen might start to insurgent. Discovering a rest room with quick traces is perhaps a problem. What begins out as thrilling and enjoyable can simply flip anxious.

Keep in mind: for each the blissful moments and the arduous ones, you made these occur. Your individual two ft carried you far.

Even the struggles are one thing try to be happy with, since you made the selection to do that problem. And you might be doing it.

The end line is even crazier. You’ll really feel all of the feelings directly.

First, there’s the joys of victory. You may really feel like a downright Viking.

Together with that may be a host of different feelings, too: shock that you simply did it, aid that it’s over, and remorse that it’s completed. You’ll most likely be hurting a bit.

On prime of all of it, there’s euphoria, that lovely runner’s excessive. It’s a strong cocktail. Nobody will blame you if you happen to tear up somewhat. 

6. You most likely received’t sleep nicely the evening earlier than the large race.

It’s like having an early flight to catch the subsequent morning. You know you set your alarm–however did you actually? Higher test once more.

Whilst you’re at it, you may mentally scroll via a listing of all the pieces you’ll want tomorrow. All whereas combating off a wholesome dose of pre-race jitters. 

Between all of that, sleep might be a bit arduous to return by. Don’t fear. This occurs to just about everybody. 

Lay out your garments and equipment the evening earlier than to present your thoughts much less to fret about. Have all the pieces arrange so you may actually roll off the bed and slip into your race gear.

Set two alarms. That method you’ll cease second-guessing your self.

Attempt to hold your ideas optimistic and inspiring. You’ve bought this.

7. There shall be surprises.

For one, embarrassing accidents occur on a regular basis. Something from a sprained ankle to runner’s diarrhea can occur proper in the course of your race.

Digestive issues are quite common. A lot, actually, that specialists suggest sporting black shorts, simply in case. 

In your race preparation, you wish to run via all the pieces that might occur and how one can be ready for it.

The climate might additionally take a flip for the wet. It might hail, even. That is why it is best to spend money on the precise gear and get used to working within the rain.

Water resistant or moisture-wicking materials could make all of the distinction between a snug run and a depressing one. 

8. Publish-half marathon blues are an actual factor.

Coaching for a half marathon can really feel like a second job.

You’ve put your self via months of preparation and arduous work. You may really feel like your life is all about this race. 

That is why the crash afterward could be so arduous.

When the half marathon is over and the nice and cozy glow of accomplishment has pale, there’s nothing left to coach for.

You probably did it. There are massive, empty areas the place your full coaching calendar was. 

You may stop this by taking per week to recuperate, then diving into a brand new coaching plan. 

9. You’ll wish to do it over again. 

Many say that the most effective remedy for the post-half marathon blues is to signal proper again up for one more one. 

With the Rocky-like montage of coaching and the unbelievable feeling on the end line, marathon working can get addictive.

Some runners swear by marathon working because the exercise that pulled them out of far worse habits. 

With all the advantages you get, it’s no surprise so many individuals join one other one.

A research of 138 first-time runners within the London Marathon discovered that contributors decreased their “vascular age” by about 4 years, that means their hearts have been a lot more healthy. 

Whether or not your half marathon is a one-time factor or not, you’ll always remember your first. And the subsequent step is perhaps to tackle the large purpose: the total 26.2 mile marathon.

Head to our free assortment of marathon coaching plans to seek out the precise one to your stage and your targets. 

And if you happen to’re on the lookout for an effective way to stretch out and recuperate after your run, a superb yoga routine is a should.

Avocadu’s Yoga Fats Loss Bible has detailed directions and newbie modifications to your observe, and a 6-week exercise plan good for cross-training and enhancing power and adaptability.

Pleased coaching! 

In regards to the Writer

Thomas Watson is a marathon runner and writer of three books on marathon working. He began working whereas at college, and progressively fell in love with lengthy distance working–ultimately competing in ultramarathons everywhere in the globe.

He’s now a UNESCA-certified working coach, and has coached runners everywhere in the world. At his weblog, Marathon Handbook, he shares his information, ideas, and expertise with runners (and aspiring runners) of all ability ranges.