Anyone have advice for my first half marathon?

Discussion in 'W.I.S.H' started by MAKHayes-DisneyDiva, May 20, 2010.

  1. MAKHayes-DisneyDiva

    MAKHayes-DisneyDiva DIS Veteran

    Jan 24, 2007
    My first half marathon is just about 2 weeks away! I'm really excited, but nervous too. :eek:
    I've been following Hal Higdon's Novice Half Marathon training plan, so I feel like my training has prepared me pretty well so far. My longest run has been 10 miles, and this week end I'll do an 11 mile run before I begin to taper. (Hal doesn't go up to 11, but I lengthened the long runs a few times to I could gradually get closer to 13.1.)

    Does anyone have any race tips?
    Taper advice?
    Race day nutrition suggestions?
    Water or sports beverage?
    Other tips that might help me?

    I know there are some seasoned half marathoners out there, so I hope to learn from your wisdom.
  2. FireDancer

    FireDancer DIS Veteran

    Apr 3, 2008
    If you are traveling for the race set everything you are bringing out a day or so in advance so you can double check everything. I forgot running shorts for a half once. Also, unpack and lay out exactly what you want to wear the day you arrive. That way if you forgot anything you can get it at the expo.

    The most important thing to keep in mind for the night before and morning of the race is not to try anything new. You don't want to find out a dish doesn't agree with you the day before or morning of a 13.1 mile run.

    I drink a lot of water the morning of the run. You will want to make sure you use the restroom as close to the start as possible. I almost always find a tree about 10 minutes before the start. This last race I didn't and had to stop on course, it completely ruined my push for a PR.

    That is all that comes to mind other then enjoy it. It is easy to think the whole time about finishing and not living in the moment and enjoying it.
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  4. lisah0711

    lisah0711 ♥ her Disney office

    Sep 9, 2005
    No advise except to say that it sounds like you have been working hard and are well prepared. Just wanted to say "Good luck!" and subscribe to your thread so I can benefit from the words of wisdom that you receive. :goodvibes
  5. johde

    johde DIS Veteran

    Jul 27, 2002
    First off Good Luck, I did my first half last Sunday so I understand your excitement/nervousness. My one suggestion might be to make this 11 mile training run as close to race conditions as possible. Both water and sports drinks are good but if you haven't been training with sports drink I would try it on this next run. The same if you are planning on using Gu. If you normally run in the evening and the race is in the morning, try to get a morning run in, or vice versa. Like Frank said, you don't want any surprises on race day.

    As far as race day itself. I would recommend lining up just slightly behind where you think you should be. This can serve 2 purposes. First, it can keep you from starting out too fast. Second, passing people is alot funner than being passed. That being said don't start clear in the back unless you are a walker because you will be spending all your time weaving in and out of people.

    One final tip, have fun, I'm sure you'll do great.
  6. rubato

    rubato DIS Veteran

    Jan 15, 2008
    Congratulations and have fun!
    I did my first in April and loved it. But, I had done a 12 miler in training and still got my butt kicked. All because I did the first 5 miles too fast and drank Gatorade for the first time that day.

    So, do what you've been doing, don't add anything new. And, don't start out too fast. And, stay hydrated. I was VERY hydrated. So much so that I had to go potty during the race (thank goodness for portapotties).
  7. VernRDH

    VernRDH Sharing the same birthday with my baby girl and Mi

    Sep 9, 2005
    Lots of good tips so far. A few things I learned.

    Test out EVERYTHING before you use it race day. Fuel, drinks, clothing everything.

    If there is any possibility of chafing use BodyGlide/Vaseline etc. This I know from personal experience. :scared1:

    Don't feel that you have to run the whole thing; if your body says it needs a little break, walk for a short time. Don't worry about anyone else. THIS IS YOUR RACE TO RUN. You will PR.

    Enjoy the day, talk to others along the way. Thank the volunteers. Treat yourself to something good after you finish.
  8. swim-mom

    swim-mom DIS Veteran

    Apr 12, 2007
    I did my first half in March, the Princess - and the one thing I realized is that my medal at the end of the run/race was the same as the person who finished first!! :rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:

    You know what your body can do - relax and enjoy if you do want a PR make it yours and not compare it to someone else! Pace yourself, to avoid burnout :)

    Lastly - smile you have made a decision to keep your heart healthy while other people wont even consider walking and/or waking up to watch a half you are actually DOING IT!!

    HUGS:love::love: Good luck, but you wont need it because your ready!
  9. momof2minnies

    momof2minnies DIS Veteran

    Feb 7, 2004
    One very good tip is you will be so hydrated but of course don't want to stop on the run so before the race use the porta potty then get right back in line and go again- I kept doing this before the start of my full and it worked great, my half I was more distracted because it was sleeting out and freezing at the start and had to go 3 miles in and was very uncomfortable and the lines are crazy!

    I will never forget to do this again, makes a huge difference.

  10. heatherlynn444

    heatherlynn444 DIS Veteran

    Jan 9, 2006
    congrats! have fun and don't be nervous!

    don't wear anything new. i always do a long run in what i plan to wear race day.

    Don't start out too fast even though it's exciting and tempting!

    stay hydrated, take gels, etc. your body will thank you! (I do a goo at mile 4.5 and 9ish)
  11. crewmatt

    crewmatt DIS Veteran

    Jan 31, 2010
    Don't skip the early water stops. If you're 6 miles into a race and dont feel thirsty go ahead and skip one if you want. But you always want to drink before you're super thirsty. Also when in doubt body glide, you'd rather be a little sticky/goo-ey than chafed.
  12. corinnak

    corinnak 100% Tag Free!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Eat easily digested foods the night before - I am convinced that the popularity of the spaghetti dinner the night before a big race is party the carb-factor and partly the easy-to-digest, not-too-much fiber factor. Particularly avoid Mexican and Chinese foods the night before the race. Or anything too heavy like a bunch of pizza.

    Do eat breakfast before you head out - the farther from race time the better. Whether it be a bar of some kind or your usual or a special bland pre-run breakfast like a bagel & peanut'll want something (but not too much) in your system once you get underway.

    I know you've gotten these before, but they bear repeating: don't go out too fast & nothing new on race day! Even the pre-race food, it's a good idea to try a few things before the runs you do over the next couple of weeks, so you know what sits well with you.
  13. tweidner

    tweidner Earning My Ears

    Aug 2, 2002
    SMILE :) when you cross the finish line. I guarantee that you will want to buy the picture. I have mine on my desk and I look at it everyday and remind myself of the accomplishment. I did my first half at WDW in January 2010.
  14. MAKHayes-DisneyDiva

    MAKHayes-DisneyDiva DIS Veteran

    Jan 24, 2007
    Fabulous tips, everyone!
    I'm a little freaked because I missed my long run over the weekend due to a nasty stomach bug. That's the first time I've missed a long run, and it was going to be the last one before the race.
  15. Tiger Lily 03

    Tiger Lily 03 Moderator W.I.S.H. Moderator

    Feb 7, 2003
    Don't fret about that last missed run. You will do fine. You will.

    Take the time to feel better.

    Find the fun! Have a blast!
  16. MAKHayes-DisneyDiva

    MAKHayes-DisneyDiva DIS Veteran

    Jan 24, 2007
    Thanks, Tiger Lily!!
    I'm still under the weather, but I ran 1 (yes, just 1) stinkin' hot mile today with a friend. I'm back! Well, not quite, but if I keep telling myself that, it might just happen.
  17. HockeyKat

    HockeyKat DIS Veteran

    Feb 4, 2007
    I did my long run 3 weeks before the half (Princess) and didn't run AT ALL the week of. It actually worked out great, as I was really fresh for the race.

    Now, I am not really a runner (yet, working on it), and walked a good portion of the half. Finished in 3:11.

    I would also recommend to start slow. I walked the whole first mile, and didn't start running until I was warmer. I trained with 2:1 (walk 2, run 1) intervals but I was probably doing more like 10:1s in the actual race.

    I agree with all of the other advice, as to not trying new things, bland food, etc. Also, be sure not to over-hydrate. Sloshy stomach is the worst. 2-4 oz every mile and no more than 20oz in an hour, unless it is super hot.

    Most of all, have fun!!

    It's totally addictive... I joined a Galloway Training group last weekend and have already signed up for 2 more halfs this year!
  18. evhorizon

    evhorizon Earning My Ears

    Apr 12, 2010
    It takes about 10-14 days to see the physiological effects of a run. If your race is less than 2 weeks away, missing that last long run won't mean that much come race time. Get in some shorter runs to keep the "feeling" of running and to maintain continuity, but whatever fitness level you have now is what you'll have on race day. No cramming for the test!
  19. NeverlandClub23

    NeverlandClub23 AKV DVC Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    Just wanted to say good luck this weekend!! :thumbsup2 Let us know how it goes!! (I have no advice though as I've only done one half and wasn't very prepared for it but I'm considering the one I'm doing at WDW this year my first "real" one as I WILL be ready to go on race day!)

    "The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will."
    Vince Lombardi

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