Training for your first half-marathon can be intimidating. 13.1 miles is no easy feat, but it is possible. Use these tips to get started and get ready for the immeasurable feelings that come along with completing your first long distance race. 

Find a good plan

Hal Higdon and Runner’s World offer inexpensive or free training plans for anyone from beginning runners to the most advanced in the sport. You can use these training plans as a guide and adjust them to your daily schedule. It’s always good to make sure you’re in the right shape for certain training plans because some start off a bit more challenging than others.

Make a dope playlist

One of the biggest draws to running is the solitude. The chance to be alone and tune into your thoughts isn’t always around in other areas of our lives, so make sure to pair this opportunity with an awesome soundtrack. Spotify is a great resource because it offers running playlists that match your tempo. If you’re not happy with any of the pre-existing ones, you can make your own. Queen Bey always finds her way on my personal playlists and she works wonders for my most difficult runs.

Start slow

Your first long run shouldn’t be 10 miles. As a newbie to half-marathon training, your long runs should steadily increase over the course of six to 12 weeks, depending how long your training plan is. Remember that you are only running against yourself, so there’s no need to be a first-place athlete on your first running journey.

Get your nutrition right

If you plan to run on a diet of fast food and takeout, you’re in the wrong activity. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot outrun a bad diet. If you’re investing the money to run in a half marathon (which is most likely upward of $50) you should give yourself the chance to do it properly. Center your diet around healthy carbs, fruits and veggies. Try cutting back on the red meat and look at the fish aisle at the grocery store instead. You’ll feel better during training and you’ll perform dramatically better on race day.

Don’t give up

Running your first long distance race is a grueling process. It takes physical and mental capabilities to continue running beyond an hour or so. If you find yourself struggling to keep up with your program or you get demotivated, don’t give up. Finding your footing with a new challenge is always difficult. Pinpoint the issue, and consider switching over to a training plan that is more in line with your lifestyle. Also, make sure you surround yourself with encouraging friends and family. Sometimes, the best motivation comes from the ones that we love. 

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