Step 1: When and Where
Step 2: Grab Some Gear
Although brand and style of shoes is completely based on preference, Asics or Brooks are known to have the most support and prevention of injury during running. Nike does make lines of running shoes, however they tend to be less supportive than Asics or Brooks. The important thing is to research what may be best for your foot, or if possible visit a running store where they can professionally fit you for the correct shoes. The other important factor with shoes is to make sure they are not too broken down or ruined by the time race day arrives. Usually two pairs of the same shoe is a better option to guarantee a good support on race day.
The type of clothes for training depends on the season of when you are preparing to race. During winter or colder months it is important to wear multiple layers and if possible heat absorbing gear to keep your body warm. Most importantly gloves and a hat can protect your hands from frostbite and keep heat from escaping through your head. In warmer months, it is important to wear light, heat reflecting clothing to protect the body from overheating. Although not necessary, more form fitting clothing may prevent legs or arms from chaffing, especially during longer runs.
Other gear than can help make training easier or more entertaining are iPods or music, training programs or apps that can help motivate or track improvements and training, and handheld water bottles to stay hydrated during longer runs or warmer months.
Step 3: Choose a Training Schedule
Step 4: Start Running!
Step 5: Rest and Stretch
If during a run your body is telling you to stop, do not feel guilty about walking to taking a break. It is important to train and push your limits, but it is also important to stay healthy!
Step 6: Stay Motivated
Step 7: Love Those Long Runs
Another important part of those long runs is hydrating and nourishing your body correctly. Make sure you are hydrating before, during, and after every run to keep your body functioning. Also, the correct foods and snacks can not only make those runs easier, but also more enjoyable. Energy chews, bananas, or beans can quickly supply your body with the carbohydrates and energy it needs to finish those longer runs.
Step 8: Get Ready for Race Day
For me the part that made me realize it was really close, was buying clothes and music for race day. Make sure to check the weather frequently to know what to wear, and how to prepare for before, during, and after the race! Some runners do not prefer to listen to music during the race, but if you do I suggest buying music specifically for the race. Create a playlist of songs that would fit your every mood during running. Songs to motivate, songs to inspire, and songs to relax are all crucial for a race day playlist.
Feed your body and soul what it needs. If there is something you've been craving during all of training, eat it. Most importantly, prepare for what you are going to eat the night before and morning of the race. Loading on carbohydrates will give your body the energy it needs to function properly.
Step 9: Ready, Set, RUN
Overall remember to enjoy yourself and have fun! Let the atmosphere and experience take over!
Step 10: Celebrate!
You completed your goal and have officially become a half-marathon runner! All of your hard work and effort has paid off and you definitely deserve to celebrate! Whether its just laying back and relaxing, going out and grabbing a drink, or celebrating with friends and family, give yourself time to celebrate what you have accomplished. Remember that if it was easy, everyone would do it! What you have accomplished is an achievement to carry for the rest of your life!