If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I signed up for my first half marathon! I am terrified/excited/exhausted and anxious but come May 16th, I hope to be standing at the finish line (I’ll be the one panting) of the Brooklyn Half Marathon feeling proud and accomplished. But in starting my training a few weeks ago I’ve realized what an undertaking it is.
Thus far, I have found a new appreciation for regular distance runners (marathoners…YOU GO! My god, you amaze me.) And even half marathoners. The dedication necessary for this is no small feat. I’ve only ever done two 5Ks and two 10Ks. And they were both very challenging for me. I remember thinking at mile 5 of my first 10K “there is no way that I could ever run more than this,” but in the weeks that followed, I started to secretly entertain the challenge of registering for
So today I wanted to share a breakdown of what I’m doing to get ready for 5/16/15:
- First and foremost, I’m following Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Novice 1 Training Plan at the recommendation of many seasoned runners. So far so good but I won’t lie…after not really running for most of winter, it was hard to start out of the gate with 3 miles.
- I’m staying dedicated. I’ve had to adjust the training plan to my schedule in certain instances but I mapped out every workout on my calendar to ensure I don’t overbook myself.
- I’ve been drinking less alcohol. Nothing like facing 5 miles after having three tequila drinks the night before. I learned quickly that limiting my alcohol will ensure
- I am reading loads about stretching. I can’t get enough of stretching but I’ve learned a lot in the process about the importance of stressing “warm muscles” and setting aside the time to ensure I’m properly stretching.
- I’m focusing on strengthening my core. For previous races, I only focused on getting my runs in vs. building strength in other ways. For my cross-training and stretch/strengthen days I am incorporating a mix of yoga, SLT and barre classes to help further develop my other muscles and particularly my core.
- I’m raising money! I am doing the race to benefit Team for Kids, which is a team of volunteers who raise funds for critical services provided by the New York Road Runners Youth Programs. These programs combat childhood obesity and empower youth development via running and character-building programs in low-income schools and community centers in New York City and across the country. Should you be interested in contributing a (tax deductible!) donation, you can do so HERE. It’s a great cause.
- I’m taking classes at a new studio here in New York, Mile High Run Club. I actually used to despise running on treadmills but this studio designs classes around the treadmill guiding you through intervals and strength training. It’ll take you up hills, through long pushes and provide helpful tips for running – no matter your level. Mile High has made me more informed and has me actually excited to go to work on a treadmill. I leave class tired, proud and, naturally…absolutely dripping in sweat. Try the Dash 28 class to get you started and if you’re used to longer runs, I recommend The Distance class.
- I’ve been taking advantage of Nike NYC’s free (!!) classes – particularly the weekly one at Mile High – it’s such a fun, inspiring & competitive environment and consistently pushes me to do better, be faster and work harder.
- I’m working on focusing on the mental aspect of running. Running distance is hard. On certain days, really, really hard. And I can get bored easily. So on my longer runs I’ve started thinking about what I need to finish my mileage. I picture loved ones at the “finish line” and think about how personal accomplishments will make me feel to try and get through to the end. Motivational words help, too.
- I’m crafting a killer playlist for my training. Taylor was kind enough to help contribute to it – check it out below & if you have recommendations – I would LOVE to hear them!
- I’m listening to my body. I started experiencing shin and hamstring pain early on in my training so I’ve been reading up on best ways to combat it, sought out physical therapy, been icing and rolling out any soreness/pain as needed. (Wish me luck – the anxiety this is causing me is rather through the roof…)
- And because what you’re wearing can make any type of physical fitness more fun – I’m outfitting myself accordingly. My favorite pieces I’ve gotten thus far include this hoodie, these tanks (I have 4 now – they are the best! Not to mention, on sale.) and the best sports bra for running I’ve ever found is right this way.
For this post, Matt Wilpers of Mile High Run Club was kind enough to offer the below 3 tips that are best for first time halfers: