I cannot believe it is 18 days into my half-marathon training! Race day is quickly approaching- March 16th will be here before I know it. I’m excited to share a few things I have learned during my training over the past couple of weeks.
#1 Find Comfortable Running Shoes
My first discovery (which I learned the hard way) is to invest in comfortable running shoes. This will truly make or break your training. I originally wore my everyday sneakers to the gym to run, my Hoka Clifton 8s. I LOVE them- but they were not practical for training. Because they are my everyday sneakers, the tread on them was not supportive. I decided to invest in a new pair of running shoes to train in and race in. I ended up purchasing the Hoka Gaviota 5s. I am OBSESSED with them. Not only are they so cute, but they have amazing support. I struggle with runner’s knee and shin splints. Ever since training in these new running shoes, I have noticed the biggest difference in overall soreness. I recommend trying on a few different brands and seeing what works for you! It is definitely worth the investment to purchase a new pair of running shoes when running or training for a long-distance race.
#2 Set Yourself Up For Success
Running in itself can be daunting- trust me almost every time I go to run I catch myself overthinking for no reason. Make sure that you have your smartwatch charged, headphones ready to go, water bottle filled and proper attire for the run laid out. And PLEASE- I cannot emphasize this enough- make sure you are eating BEFORE and AFTER your run! Having some sort of snack to tide you over before a run is SO important. You need fuel to get you through your miles. I always say that recovery is just as important as the actual workout. Prioritize rest, drinking water and fueling your body. Also, make sure you have a hype playlist- there will be points during your run where having one is the only thing keeping you moving.
#3 Don’t Stress About Time
This has been the hardest lesson I have had to learn. Coming from running almost every day in high school to trying to just survive a half marathon has been humbling. I found myself getting frustrated at the beginning with my pace being slow or not hitting the exact distance I wanted to reach. Throw this mindset out of the window! It’s not going to help you reach your goals. I have shifted my mindset from I have to run to I get to run. This has not only taken the pressure off of getting on the treadmill, but it is also helping me heal my relationship with running. I am grateful for the opportunity to wear fun-colored sets, listen to my favorite music and break a sweat with no outside pressure or stress! With every run, I am getting stronger and having fun doing it, and that’s the most important!
#4 Connect With Other Runners
I am so thankful to be training for this half marathon with two of my best friends! We have been able to hold each other accountable, check in on one another and celebrate each other’s successes. Without them, this process would be a million times harder. I also encourage you to connect with people online! Follow running influencers, connect with running groups or people on Strava and ask your friends to join your runs. This will make the biggest difference in overall motivation.
#5 Not Every Day Is Going To Be Easy or Fun
There will be mornings when you wake up and you are insanely sore. There will be runs where your normal hype playlist isn’t hitting. There will be runs where all you can focus on is how hard half a mile feels. Running is hard. It is a mental challenge as much as it is physical. Accepting that some days are not going to be good is a part of the journey. Don’t give up on yourself because a run didn’t go as you planned. The ups and the downs are what is going to make you mentally stronger. Remember- YOU control the run and not your attitude.
These are just 5 main takeaways I have walked (or ran) away with over the past couple of weeks. In my next blog, I will be covering some of my favorite running must-haves! Keep working hard and showing up for yourself!