Marathon has always been, for some, the ultimate accomplishment. There is a fabled facet behind it. Whether you are a new runner, a confident expert or somewhere in between, there is a fine chance that half marathon is your preferred racing distance. Preparation for the half marathon is also a good stepping stone on the track to your first marathon. The half is a perfect way to find out whether you like going the long distance and prepares you for the physical and mental challenge of the marathon.
Running your first half marathon can make you hungry for more. It can be a life-changing event. When the time comes for you to start the journey of running your first half marathon, there are few things to keep in mind to make your experience a good one and one that leaves you craving to run many more. So check out these tips that will certainly help you in bringing home the bacon in your first half marathon.
The ten most important things
1. All runs are to be done at ‘conversational pace’ or easy pace. Take walk breaks if necessary, on your longer runs.
2. Hydrate well before, during and after the run. Use water or electrolyte preferably if you’ve been sweating a lot.
3. General hydration guidelines are 300 - 500 ml before the run, about 150 - 200ml every 20 minutes during the run and hydrate until urine is clear after the run.
4. Eat an easily digestible snack about 45 minutes before the run; preferably a fruit.
5. Eat within an hour of finishing the run. Eat a meal that has a healthy mix of carbohydrates and protein.
6. A general guideline for daily requirement of carbohydrates is 6 - 8 gms/kg of body weight and 1.2 gms/kg of body weight for protein.
7. Do the whole body stretches after every run or workout.
8. Ensure you have appropriate shoes for your gait and foot type.
9. If possible, avoid concrete and stick to asphalt for all your runs.
10. Ensure your Vitamin D, B12 and Calcium levels are normal before you begin the program.
Cross Training: Cycling, Swimming, Walking, Table Tennis
Strides: To run for about 50 - 60m at a fast pace (a ‘sub-maximal sprint)
Time Trial: Warm up with an easy run for 20 minutes - stretch for just 2 minutes - run the specified distance as if you were running a race. Make sure you keep your pace even and constant.