Ready, Set, Half Marathon: 6 Tips for Beginners to Crush Their First Race!

  • By Brian Keane

Getting ready to run your first half marathon can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re a beginner runner. But don’t worry, with the right preparation and mindset, you can cross that finish line triumphantly. Here are some tips for preparing for your first half marathon:

1. Start Slowly:

It’s important to start training slow and steadily. Focus on building a solid foundation before diving into intense workouts. Remember, the goal is to complete the half marathon, not win it.

2. Get the Right Gear:

Invest in some good running shoes and gear. You don’t need the most expensive options out there, but good quality gear can make a big difference in your comfort and performance.”
I personally use Asics GT-2000 as a running shoe; but you need to experiment and test what works best for you, your feet and the level of support you require. 

3. Fuel Your Body:

Proper nutrition is key for successful training. Make sure you eat a healthy, balanced diet and stay hydrated throughout your training. Don’t forget to refuel your body with snacks or energy gels during longer runs.
If you’re interested in the different fuelling techniques for a fat based runner vs a carb based runner, you can listen to my podcast on it here or for an even deeper dive, the sports performance module in my nutrition course. 

4. Mix Up Your Workouts:

Don’t just focus on running. Incorporate cross-training exercises like cycling, swimming, and strength training to build up your overall fitness and prevent injuries.

5. Get a Running Buddy:

Running with a friend or joining a running group can make the training more fun and keep you motivated. Plus, you’ll have someone to celebrate with at the finish line!
On the other hand, you may be like me and take a lone wolf approach to your training. Personally, I use the time to listen to educate myself with a podcast or a new audiobook. 

6. Embrace the Struggle:

Running a half marathon is tough, and there will be times when you want to quit. Embrace the struggle, push through the pain, and remind yourself why you started in the first place.

For more on ‘finding your why’ – check out my book Rewire Your Mindset. 

Training for your first half marathon is not easy, but it’s definitely worth it. With dedication, persistence, and a sense of humour (yes running sucks no matter how you spin it), you can successfully cross that finish line and be proud of all your hard work and effort. So lace up those shoes, hit the pavement, and remember to have fun!

Brian Keane Fitness Podcast

Brian is a qualified personal trainer, sports nutritionist and strength and conditioning coach.

He is the best selling author of the book The Fitness Mindset and currently travels the world as a professional speaker. He also hosts the #1 podcast The Brian Keane Podcast.

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