Tips for Rocking a Half Marathon

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This past weekend, I ran the Capitola Half Marathon in Santa Cruz, California. I totally lucked out – the weather was gorgeous. It was sunny, but cool, the breeze coming off of the ocean was perfect. Everything just really worked out. And I SHATTERED my PR (personal record).  I was extremely ecstatic two years ago when I finally ran a half marathon in 2 hours and 12 minutes and 40 seconds. My goal was 2 hours and 15 minutes. I had decided to unofficially retire from half marathon running as I kept injuring myself while training.

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They call it the Surfer’s Path

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Running by the beach boardwalk

But a couple of my girlfriends talked me into running another and I decided, why not? I decided not to care about my time, to train at a reasonable pace and just have fun. And I ran fast! I finished this half marathon in 2 hours and 4 minutes and 50 seconds! I felt like a gazillion bucks. Like my own hero. And it was all from relaxing and having more fun.

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Capitola, CA

Tips for Rocking a Half Marathon (or any race)

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!!

  • You should always be drinking lots of agua of course, but while training for any sort of race or fitness event, you need to drink even more to make up for the loss of fluid you are experiencing. This is especially important the day before a race. Knock back an extra 4+ glasses of water the day before a race in preparation for all of those electrolytes you’ll lose.

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Diva Half Marathon 2014

Cross train

  • Running lots will help prepare you for the race, but varied exercise will help your game overall. I enjoy running, strength training (weight lifting), walking, dancing, pilates and boot camps. I noticed a HUGE difference in my running speed when I started boot camp – it really helped my endurance and got me running faster. Don’t forget to vary your running plan by running some hills and doing interval training.

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Jumping mini hurdles is fun… really! haha ;p

Find an Accountability Buddy

  • My friends and I signed up for the half marathon together and kept tabs on each other and our training plans and encouraged each other to keep going. It really helped keep me motivated. Group runs are great too!

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Santa Cruz Half Marathon 2013

Figure out a Training Plan that Works for You

  • When I started training for my first half marathon, I wasn’t aware that pre-preared training programs existed. You can just google training plans for races and see what is out there. I actually started by looking at the date of the half marathon and worked backwards. So for this race I ran 13.1 miles on Sunday, the week before I ran 11 miles, the week before I ran 9 miles, etc. I also threw in a couple of shorter during the week (ranging from 2-4 miles). I don’t taper – it’s just not for me. Everyone is different, find what’s best for you =)

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Hamilton Marathon 2011

Eat More Food!! 

  • When you run more, you burn more calories and need to take in more calories to make up for it. Don’t be scared of carbs – they fuel you (but they aren’t all created equally). The day of your race, don’t forget to make up for all of the lost calories you burn while running.

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I run for the chocolate…

Get a Good Playlist

  • I find I run better when I have some good tunes on. A few songs from my playlist this past race were: Seven One Eight by Fannypack (oh yea!), Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake, Going the Distance by Cake, Hall of Fame by the Script, Run the World (Girls) from Beyoncé, Tubthumping by Chumbawamba and I Would Walk 500 Miles by the Proclaimers.

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Spring Forward 10km 2014

And last, but not least:

Have fun!!

  • Remember the reason you started running. There is a good chance it wasn’t to be competitive or to push yourself too hard. It was to have fun or incorporate something different into your fitness routine. I didn’t have any goals for this run and I felt it took all of the pressure off and I had no expectations.  Running for fun is where it’s at 😉

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Endur 5km 2010 (my first race ever!)

Do you like running????

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Capitola Half Marathon 2016

As a side note – I am not where I would like to be with my body. I’m still not feeling comfortable in my skin – it feels like a battle most days. BUT running this race while feeling like I’m bigger, made me realize I don’t have to be thin to be strong & kickass!

12 thoughts on “Tips for Rocking a Half Marathon

  1. Congratulations!!! That’s incredible to shave so many minutes off your time!!! After taking a few years off of running, and feeling like I’d hung up my running shoes for good, I started again a few months ago and am actually enjoying it. So who knows… maybe I’m not done! Not sure a half marathon is coming anytime soon tho. :)

    Well done, well done, you strong, incredible woman!!!

  2. congrats on running the half marathon – I admire those who run through it is not for me – I think the only reason I would run would be for the scenery and your photos of the scenery look great but also you look really happy in your photos which is a great recommendation for it

    1. The scenery was quite pretty! Not a lot of races are like that, I’m so lucky to live near the ocean and the mountains. One could always just walk through too 😉
      I tend to feel kind of crappy after some races, but felt amazing after this one!

  3. Congrats Kimmy! That is amazing! You must be so proud.

    I have never run a half marathon before. I signed up for one 2 years ago but got hurt and couldn’t do it. I’m just now getting back into running more than a mile or two after experiencing some back trouble last year. I’d love to do one but I don’t have anyone that wants to run that long a distance with me. I think maybe I’ll try to get my mileage up this year (I have a 10k in a few weeks) and work up to a half sometime next year.

    I totally agree that running for pleasure really helps. I used to be so stressed running for times (not that I was fast AT ALL) but now I’m trying to focus on being grateful I can even run again and not worry about times.

    1. Ugh. Injuries suck. That’s actually why I “unofficially” retired in the first place – I kept injuring myself while training for half marathons. I think I was training too hard though.
      Back trouble is no good!
      I typically run by myself – it’s not so bad. It’s how I started running. I like running with people sometimes, but tend to prefer running solo.
      Mind shift to relaxed running is tough, but worth it =)
      Thanks Mary Ellen!

  4. Congratulations, that is a great result. :)
    I am not a runner. My knees are not made like knees should be, and the impact of running (or any sort of impact activity, really), leads to much much pain. So running is a no-go for me. I kind of wish I could though, because people seem to get so much out of it. Then again, I am not made for any sort of outdoor activity because I burn so easily. So I guess doing sweaty yoga inside is the right choice for me. 😉

    1. It’s funny how you say you wish you could run as people seem to get so much out of it, I really want to enjoy yoga like you do as I know it’s great… but I just don’t. I suppose we’re wired they way we are ;p
      Thanks Susan =)

  5. I was once training for my a half marathon by life keeps getting in the way. And now I am pregnant so running is more like jogging. XD I know I need take it easy but when I see my numbers I feel a little pathetic. 13 minute miles?! I remember trying to polish 10 minute miles. So my plans for a half marathon will be push back for a few more months/year.

    1. Ah it’s all about having fun. Don’t worry about the numbers. Especially when you aren’t even much slower considering all that is going on in your body right now. Congratulations by the way =) Half marathons will always be there – enjoy life for what it is =)

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