More and more novice runners attempt a half-marathon after a lackadaisical preparation. Several things cannot be overlooked when running 21.1km.
1. Do Not Underestimate the Distance of a Half-Marathon
It is tempting to be fooled by the word 'half'! However, running half a marathon is not an easy task. Especially when you are new to running. Before starting, heed this advice: take part in several standard and timed 10 km races before thinking of running a semi.
Ask yourself several common sense questions before confirming your registration for a 21.1 km race:
Are you able to run - even very slowly - for more than one hour before starting your training period?
Are you ready to set aside regular periods in your timetable so as to follow a preparation plan in coherence with your objective?
Are you willing to live a healthy lifestyle in certain respects in the weeks before the big day?
2. Train Methodically and with Perseverance
The effort you make during a half-marathon is always - always! – a reflection of the work put in during training. Hoping to run more than two hours, sometimes much longer, without going through a preparation phase can be dangerous: don't do anything which may compromise your health and/or disgust you from running for a long time.
Method: Validate a training plan which allows you to progress. If your plan is too difficult for you to follow scrupulously, it may well be because you overestimated your level at the start. In this case, formulate a less ambitious plan. Don't jump any stage. Progressively increasing your mileage and the intensity of training every week is the best way to limit the risk of injury.
Perseverance: and it will not be easy everyday! No doubt it is better like that. Preparing to take on a physical challenge always implies perseverance. Therefore, persevere! A runner bent on a precise goal must make sure to respect rest periods and to improve them by ensuring quality sleep and nutrition for example.
3. Don't Loose Sight of the Final Objective
Wearing a bib on your chest on the big day is always a victory! It is objective proof that you carried out your preparation to completion, that nothing -- no good or bad excuses -- could affect it. The final objective, up until the minutes before the start, is to do nothing that may prevent the completion of your final objective. For runners of all levels, this is to complete the 21.1km.
Being able to put in regular effort and to harmoniously experience a timed event (for the first time or for the hundredth time): adventure calls !