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What Are the Best Tips for Running a Half Marathon?

People training for a half marathon may use a running program.
Runners should stay hydrated before, during and after workouts.
Someone should prepare both mentally and physically before attempting to run a half marathon.
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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 October 2014
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The best tip for running a half marathon is to spend a substantial amount of time preparing for it both physically and mentally. This means training the body, but it also means preparing the mind for the stress and strain of the race as well as preparing one's strategy for the race. Running a half marathon will require the runner to design a proper diet for himself for the months leading up to the race, and it will require the runner to take part in a regular training routine. As strange as it may sound, overtraining can actually make running a marathon more difficult, so a runner must pay attention to his or her body and adjust a training schedule accordingly.

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Invest time and money into choosing the right equipment for running a half marathon. Perhaps no other single factor will have a bigger impact on the runner's race than equipment; if the shoes do not fit properly, the runner may get injured. If the shirt does not fit properly, the runner may get chafed. If the clothing does not breathe properly, the runner may become too cold or too hot. Research the different types of equipment available and determine what is necessary based on the budget one has in mind. Running a half marathon means trusting the equipment, so it is best to choose wisely. It is also important to test out and break in equipment — especially footwear — in the weeks before the marathon to avoid any issues that may arise during the race.

Overtraining occurs when a runner does too much preparation and exercise before running a half marathon. Muscles need time to recover in between workout sessions, and failure to allow for such recovery will result in tired muscles that are more likely to become injured, tighten up or cramp during the race, or even cause other more serious injuries. The runner must pace himself and be sure to allow for recovery time. Eating properly and staying hydrated at all times before, during, and after exercise will ensure muscle health and help promote a quicker recovery.

Many people running a half marathon for the first time will benefit from a visit to a personal trainer or experienced running coach. He or she will be able to analyze the runner's gait and posture, and make recommendations to improve both. A good running gait could mean the difference between a successful finish and an injury, so the runner should be sure to take a close look at his or her running gait to make certain it will work best for him or her.

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Sporkasia
Post 2

The half marathon run is a good test run for runners interested in completing marathons. Completing the shorter race will build confidence and propel a runner to the next challenge. Attempting to run a full marathon and falling short can have the opposite effect. Not crossing the finish line is discouraging.

Animandel
Post 1

My friend, who is a terrible athlete, recently decided to run a half marathon. When I say she is a bad athlete I don't mean she doesn't play sports. She plays tennis, maybe a couple times a month. However, she is not particularly coordinated and I didn't think she would have anywhere near the needed endurance to complete such a long run.

To my surprise, she trained and eventually completed her first half marathon. There were other runners there who were better athletes and in better condition than my friend who were unable to finish the run.

What made the difference? My friend is a person who never gives up. She is driven and successful in most areas of her life. I think it was her mental fortitude that allowed her to do what she physically should not have been able to do.

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