Half marathons are my favorite distance to race. Training is hard, but not too hard and the distance is long, but not too long. I think it is the perfect race. I ran my first half marathon in 2011, fell in love with the distance and have run 9 more since then. My race times have ranged from 1:54:36 (PR) to 2:40:16. I have hands on experience in what works and what doesn’t when it comes to training for a half marathon.
- Develop a good training plan: When I ran my first half marathon in 2011 I just winged it. I ran whenever I felt like it and didn’t bother to do speed work or run hills, my first and furthest long run was 9 miles five days before the race. I managed to finish and with a pretty good time, 2:05:45, but I could not walk right for the next week. I was determined to get my time below 2 hours for my second half marathon and I developed a 12 week training plan to get me there. I incorporated long runs, speed work and hills throughout the plan. I followed my plan to a tee until two weeks out I developed severe shin splints. Despite taking off the two weeks before the race I managed to blow my 1:59:59 goal out of the water and ran the half in 1:54:36.
- Consistency: Consistency is key to running a good half or any race for that matter. When I ran my 1:54:36 race is was through a cold, snowy and very icy winter, but nothing stood in my way. I joined a Planet Fitness and took to the dreaded treadmill when I couldn’t run outside, even running 11 miles once on it. You can miss a run hear and there if your training is solid and consistent, but if you are constantly missing runs it will only hurt your performance.
- Test your fueling options: I was notorious for trying new fueling options the day of the race and let me tell you it is not a wise decision. I have since learned from my many mistakes with fuel and I can tell you from experience that you need to test out every single fuel type before race day. I am talking about the meals you eat the day before to the breakfast you eat that morning to whatever fuel you are going to carry or use during the race. I test out all these fueling options during my long runs to make sure I will not have problems on race day and I’d say it is 90% effective. The other 10% depends on the day you race. I have testing fueling options without any issues prior to race day and then on race day I have issues, mostly from nerves, and I have to adjust, but not testing because of what I believe is a 10% variable is a mistake. NEVER try anything new on race day, you will regret it, I have. During my first half I decided I wanted to try some chews, never did before because quite frankly I never really ran any long runs. Needless to say I took them without being near a water station and I nearly choked to death, plus I became severely nauseous for about 10 minutes after, big mistake. On race day stick to what you know and what works.
Now on to the best part of this post, the giveaway! The Newport Liberty Half Marathon had kindly offered my a complementary bib to run in this amazing race!! Since I am moving to Tampa Bay on Monday I won’t be able to attend but we decided to give one lucky reader a bib to the race instead!!
The 22nd Newport Liberty Half will take place on Sunday, September 20, 2015 at 8:30 a.m. at the Newport Town Square in Jersey City. Recreational and elite runners from around the country can compete for $3,000 in prize money on a USA Track & Field-certified course that interweaves with the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway from Newport to Liberty State Park. This race has been called the most beautiful course in the Tri-State area with spectacular views of Lower Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty and the Verrazano Bridge.
Winnings and records will be awarded immediately after, during the Post-Race Party with refreshments, a local DJ and several prize drawings for gift cards and event tickets. All runners will receive finisher medals.
Proceeds are being donated to the Jersey City Medical Center, the area’s newest regional teaching hospital, proving the highest level of care for women, infants, and trauma and heart patients.
This giveaway is for the race entry only. To enter just head to the form below:
Disclosure: The Newport Liberty Half sponsored this giveaway, no other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.