We have all heard the saying, “mind over matter”. This rings true when preparing for a long distance race… as long as you arrive prepared. We can run with confidence when we take the appropriate steps to get there, one run at a time.
Long distance training is as much about mental preparation as it is about physical preparation. Learn how to train for a half marathon, both physically and mentally so that you feel both confident and prepared on race day.
Mentally Training for a Half Marathon
Being both physically and mentally prepared for a long distance race will set you up for success. Check out this list of training tips to see if you’re on the right track toward the finish line.
- Have a training plan and stick to it.
- Add time increases of no more than 10% to your weekly long run.
- A sample training week should consist of 2 to 3 30-minute short runs, of varying intensity and surfaces, plus 1 long run. Try to spread your runs out over the course of the week.
- Train how you plan to run. You never want to try something new on race day, so take time to experiment with electrolyte replacement and different fuel sources over the course of your training. Keep track of how each run felt in a running journal.
- Resting is a part of training. Schedule rest days into your training plan, especially the day following your weekly long run.
- Pain is a warning sign from the body that should not be ignored. Deal with aches, pains and injuries promptly and don’t get discouraged. Freeze a Styrofoam cup of water; ice any areas that feel tender after each run. As the ice melts, peel back the cup, by the end of your training it will look like a medal from your war wounds.
- Run or drive the race route before race day. Knowing what and when to expect it will increase your confidence and your race day experience.
- The night before your race, lay all of your running gear out as well packing a bag with a change of clothes for after the race. Attach your race bib and timing chip, so all you have to do in the morning is get dressed, eat and run.
- Don’t let your nerves get the best of you. It is easy to get caught up in the crowd and head out to quickly at the start of the race.
Stick to your plan and running pace, breathe and enjoy the day.