People run the half marathon for different reasons, some of which include to see what it feels like to train for and run an enduring event, prepare for a full marathon, while some eventually want to run a marathon but want to try a shorter distance fast. Whatever your reason for running a half marathon below is a helpful guide on the do’s and don’ts to help you run better.
- Prepare well for the race. Before the main race; make sure you are well trained and prepared. Some people may decide to just up one day and try the half marathon race. You need to be well prepared and trained for the marathon. For starters, you can complete a shorter race say five or ten kilometres before going for the half marathon. A day before the main race, have a gentle run to relieve any tension you might be having and to prepare your body for the big race.
- Be positive. Have the determination and be positive that you will finish the race. If you have adequately trained, chances are that you will finish the race successfully.
- Wear the right gear. Lay down your gear a few days before the main event to ensure everything is in place. Make sure you have comfortable shoes, and clothes. Avoid wearing clothes that are too tight or uncomfortable shoes.
- Consume a good meal before the main race. Eating a balanced diet will provide your body with needed energy during the race. Make sure the meal contains proteins, carbohydrates and some fat. Avoid greasy foods and sugars as they may affect how you feel during the main race.
- Land on the midsole of your foot. During the race, make sure to land on your foot and bot your heals. Landing on your midsole will allow your muscles to catch your body’s weight as you run.
- Interval training. Walk between the running intervals to help you recover. You can increase your running speed before slowing down for a jog or walk in between.
Ignore pains. Post run muscle soreness is common but you should never ignore any pain you experience during the half marathon- especially if the pain keeps getting worse. Pain is an indication that something is wrong. If you experience pain that affects your race, take some time off from running. If you push through, you may make the injury worse.
- Forget to hydrate before the main event. Drink plenty of water to make sure your body is well hydrated before the race. You will lose a lot of water during the race and ensuring you are well hydrated will prevent dehydration and help you run better.
- Set off too fast. In the excitement of the start, many people charge off. This is a mistake many people regret. Remember you aren’t there to compete, your aim should be to finish the race not to be number one. If you set off too fast you are likely to get tired faster.
- Push yourself too hard. The half marathon is a challenge but that doesn’t mean that you have to push yourself too hard to the point of hurting yourself. Slow down if you feel you are going at an uncomfortable pace. Also, as mentioned above if you experience any kind of pain, take some time off to rest and recover.
- Drink too much alcohol the day before. Avoid drinking alcohol before the main event. The hangover will affect how effective your run is.
- Wear headphones when running. Whether you are training or racing, avoid wearing headphones outside. They tune you out from your environment and make you vulnerable to all sorts of hazards such as bikes, dogs, cars, and even criminals. Leave your music player for the gym.
- Attempt the race without a full medical exam. Always visit a doctor before a race for a full medical exam. Getting a medical exam can help identify potential problems that might be aggravated by performing strenuous activities such as running. Always get a go- ahead from your doctor to avoid serious health implications.
- Eat too close to the running time. Avoid eating 1- 2 hours before the race. Give your body time to digest food to avoid stomach cramps and feeling sluggish during the race.