My Tips for Running a Half Marathon

Paso Wine Country Marathon 2022

Hi! Happy Friday and TGIF! I am currently sitting in front of my laptop, sipping on some coffee, thinking about how fast time is going by. I can’t believe spring is around the corner, and summer will be here before we know it. My day today also consists of going through full and half marathons that will take place this year trying to plan some in advance. My goal for the year is to run at least two half marathons and one full Marathon by December. Originally, I wanted to register for the NY City Marathon lottery, which is the easiest but also hardest way to get in. Unfortunately, I missed the deadline to register to get a chance to be chosen to run in it without qualifying runs or being part of a nonprofit organization. I am bummed but it is all ok. I have plenty of years to run it. I also thought, “I wonder if there is people out there wanting to run a half marathon and wanting some tips that I have benefited from. I’ve got you covered.  Here are what I think are the top tips for running a successful pain-free half marathon with 12 to 16 weeks of training, of course.  You can definitely also apply my tips to a full marathon as well.

Packet pickup day before race ❤️


Train, train, train! It is the most important thing before race day. During training you get to really know your body and what it can handle and you get to tell your body during those weeks what you need it to do. The day of you will run smoothly, you won’t be prone to injuries, your heart rate will be prepared for the distance and your endurance will be great. This doesn’t mean you train crazy. This just means you run consistently leading up to race day, practice short distance, long distances, easy and hard runs. You also strive to improve your time if it’s something you want to do.. You don’t want to show up day of and be out of shape halfway or injure yourself during the race.

Download a training app

Two of the best free apps that I have tried are Nike Running app and Runkeeper. They are both free and allow you to set a race date and goal and it will give you a customized training plan to follow.

Invest in the Right shoes!

Invest in some good running shoes. This is the most important part of your outfit. It is pretty much the most important part of your run as well. You can’t drive without reliable wheels, and you can’t run without good shoes.  Personally, I love Asics and they are my go to for my runs. For my last run, I ran in Gel- Kayano 28 Lite- Show ones. They were so comfortable and I purchased them a month in advance and wore them during my training. A lot of people I know really like Hoka running shoes.  I really wanted to like Hoka but the pair I purchased were a little too elevated for my taste and I went back to Asics for that lower platform. It is important to run in your running shoes before the actual race day so you can see how you like them and wear them in a bit. You don’t want to get blisters or injured because of your shoes that day.

Celebratory pix ❤️

Right Running Gear

My rule for race day outfit is:  NOTHING NEW. I was always told in the beginning of my running days to make sure you plan your outfits and have run in them before. If I am going to wear something new, I always purchase it a few weeks before even if it’s just a sports bra and I test it out on a run. This is to make sure you can run the long distance with them; that you don’t get too hot, or your clothes don’t rub to your body and give you rashes and that you’re comfortable the whole way. I also like to dress light. Remember you will want to lose some clothes as your body gets hotter as you get further in your run so keep that in mind. You don’t want to be carrying your sweater the whole rest of the way on your hips. What I did on my last run was I got there early enough to warm up on a very cold day and I had an older sweater on that I did not mind not getting back. I took it off right before start time and I put it under a concession table. If I found it back when I returned great, if not it was ok too.

Fuel your Body

Remember. Food is fuel, and you need it. But not just any kid of food. Nutritious and high quality food. Your hunger increases with running, but it doesn’t mean that you should be eating unhealthy foods to fill you up. Give your body nutritious foods that will do that job. Include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats. You will have to change your diet to keep up with all the running you will be doing the weeks before. Try adding Broccoli in your after running meals- to prevent sore muscles after a workout and strengthen bones, eggs- to support muscle growth and recovery. Bananas to avoid cramping. Just some small food items that you could incorporate into your diet.

Rest and Recover

Plan rest days within your training, but also listen to your body. If your body is telling you to take a day or two off. Do it, don’t force it or you could injure yourself and then just prolong your training even more. You need rest days to recover.

Hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate

Always hydrate before and after runs but especially that days leading up to your marathon.  Water is like the gas your car needs. Your body is the car. Drink water and even Gatorade before and after your race for recovery. Throughout the race, you will come upon stations offering water cups and cups with Gatorade. At some you will even be offered Gel energy. I personally do not like them but a lot of runners take them to replace the energy and calories lost while running. Just another small detail to know.

Make a Kick Ass Music Playlist

If you like to listen to music while you run, I recommend you make a GOOD playlist beforehand with all the music that gets you hyped up. I personally like to start off my half marathons with no music so that I can listen to the crowd and feel the energy. I like to really listen to what I am looking at and the sounds around me. When I am finding myself tired, I put on my headphones. During training however, I listen to my music the whole time since I am running and nowhere different.

Me and my brother who beat my time by seconds but only because his legs are one inch longer than mine so it doesn’t count 😝

Lastly and most importantly, HAVE FUN

Here is the one advice I myself, need to work on the most. HAVE FUN! It can be very nerve wrecking, from picking up your before race packet, to getting up earlier, having that pre run breakfast, those pre-race nerves, but this is why you’re doing it. To have a good time! I would say just do your best, but don’t force the fun out of it. Everyone is doing their thing, no one is looking at you and the vibes at races are so fun! There is always music to hype you up, before and everyone is so excited to start. There are people cheering you on throughout the race and at drink stations and some stations have music! Remember the feeling of accomplishment and adrenaline at the finish line will make you feel like you just conquered the world!

See you on race day!


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