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4 Mistakes From My First Half Marathon

I’m a couple months post half marathon and am itching to do another one! On the high after right running my first half marathon I was speaking with seasoned long distance runners. When I tell them about how my first half-marathon went they look at me like I am batshit crazy. Like “welcome to the fold, sister…..but you’re doing this all wrong, get it together.”

Despite choosing this race 3 months ago I still was very unprepared for the race and had I not made the mistakes listed below I probably would have had a much more enjoyable time during it.

Improper fueling

I didn’t consider food at all around this race. I heard that you should “carbo load” the night before a long distance race, so I planned to….but it was Kaya’s birthday party and I was running around so much that I barely got to eat a plate of party food and no cake even! (Gasp!)
The morning of the race I just got up and went to the race site. Not even a sip coffee was in my system. So yeah, a fasted half marathon. Definitely not the best move….but I made it out alive!

Next time: I’ll eat well the night before, and I’ll wake up extra early on race day to eat an egg and coffee or something before running. I’ll also try out one of these bad boys at around mile 6 or so. Runners seem to swear by em.

Poor training

Ok…so….look. I used this training program:

And it’s a damn good one. ….if you follow it. I didn’t exactly do that. To be honest, I ended up running about once a week leading up to the run. (I just did the long runs and skipped running in the week. #dontjudgeme) My dear husband on the other hand stuck to the training plan to a T. I think he missed 2 days of training, and only because of work stuff. #goals

Next time: I’ll actually put in the effort to train according to the plan. This will make the actual race easier for me, and I may even beat John on race day.

No Running Garments

My race outfit consisted of a pair of sneakers John bought for me at random, regular socks, leggings with pockets, my usual sports bra, and the race provided tank top.

Never again. During the race my fingers turned into vienna sausages, my feet ached, my crotch sweat to death, my nipples rubbed right off my body, and my toes disintegrated into cocoa powder.

Next time: I am wearing shorts with pockets, a waist belt for goo and chap stick, arm and leg compression bands (or compression socks) and a whole mess of lube for my nipples. (OK not lube, per se…)

Arriving on time

Now, this doesn’t sound like a mistake, but had I known better, I’d arrive at least a half-hour earlier than “on time” for the run. Parking was a wreck, then the walk to the start was ridiculous. “On time” was basically late even with the extra 10 minutes we gave ourselves before start time! We thought we were early, lmao. Think again!

Next time: I’ll give myself a half-hour additional time buffer and I’d research the race map if possible. I’m not effin around! I don’t want any pre-race stressors.

Running 13.1 miles is a feat. It’s an accomplishment whether you set a record or crawl over that finish line in last place. I wasn’t the most prepared, but I finished and I’m proud of myself for that.

I’m looking at a few races for the fall/winter and will decide soon what my next Half Marathon will be. One thing I know for sure is that I’ll be 1000% more prepared for the next one.

Have you (or would you) run a half marathon?

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Saturday 31st of October 2020

All of this is solid advice. I would also add don’t add new clothes to long races. You need tried and true.


Thursday 4th of July 2019

Wow!Thanks a lot for your sharing! Love your article sooo much!

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