Tips for Running a Half Marathon

For some, Spring means hanging out at the lake or watching baseball.  For others, Spring is Half Marathon Season!

After you’ve done a few long distance races, you think you’ve got it all figured out and can start educating and encouraging new runners.  Everyone’s always asking me, “Tell me everything you know about distance running in blog post form!”  So I just had to write it down.  These tips will save you time, money, and make your race a much more enjoyable adventure.

Tips for Running a Half Marathon

Buy a Quality Track Suit:
Having the right shoes and clothes can make or break your run.  Spend at least $1400 on shorts, underwear, socks, and a shirt.  Approximately every $100 you spend on running clothes equals ten minutes off of your time!  Look inside of the clothes for special Perks or Powerups.  Nike makes a sports bra with a button you can press to give you a quick speed boost.

Also, be sure to put those things under your kneecaps so your leg does not break apart.  I can’t tell you how many kneecaps I’ve seen skittering across the road after someone’s knees explode.

Carb-Load:
The night before the race, hunt down anything made from grains or sugar.  The best method for storing up this energy is through consuming as much beer as possible.  Think of each longneck as a cylinder in your car engine.  Tomorrow you’re legs will be pounding pavement away like a sewing machine. As the night goes on and it gets closer to race time you’ll know you’re belly’s ready.  That’s a feeling we runners call “the churning”.

Track Your Run:
Just as it’s important to check into a grocery store on Facebook Places or foursquare, you’ll want to be sure to track every single step you take running for the rest of your life.  When your half marathon begins, you’ll probably be back a little ways from the start gate.  DO NOT start your Nike+ or GPS until you reach the gate.

To ensure accuracy, STOP right before you get to the start gate and look at your tracker to make sure it is ready.  If you need a second, be polite and hold up a finger for those behind you.  They’ll know you need a second and politely wait until you have everything set up.  This is also a great time to set up your iPod playlists.

Touch as many People as Possible:
Comradery between long distance runners is as strong as soldiers who has endured the crucible of combat together.  Gently touch as many people as possible on the shoulder as you pass them.  For added points, lean in and whisper something in their ear.  “Keep going buddy!” “I hope you’re getting enough water!” or softly hiss “Meet you after the race for applesss.” These are good phrases to keep in mind but make some up on your own.  Keep track of how many people you’ve touched and let everyone know how many you touched. This is something everyone talks about!

Walk/Run With All of Your Friends:
Make it a girls weekend and walk with 3 of your friends. Have t-shirts made for each Sex and the City character. Walk 4 abreast down the track. This is a great time to talk about boys or exchange your favorite recipes. (Guys can talk about video games and war)  Just remember to consider all of your friends because one of the girls on the end is going to miss out on a lot of the conversation because she’s stuck next to the loud one and when she goes to spread the gossip to her other friends she’s going to screw it all up:

“So I guess Dorothy went to the costume party with Mark and she went as Dorothy and he went as some kind of x-men mutant and when they started doing it in the punch bowl his eyes started shooting lasers like the Cyclops but luckily Dorothy’s real ruby slippers were already off and on the table because it was getting hot so he just put the shoes over his eyes to stop the lasers so he didn’t kill anybody else but they had to leave and she got a DUI because Mark couldn’t see without shooting lasers out of his eyes. At least that’s what I heard when when we ran this half marathon thing last week.”

Be Cautious When Getting Water:
There will be numerous water stations scattered throughout your race.  You’ll want to stay plenty hydrated.  Don’t worry about pee because most of it comes out of your skin.

The proper way to grab a water is to scream and quickly dart across the track towards the water.  Sudden movements indicate thirst. Go for the first water person.  ONLY get water from the first person! As soon as you get your cup, STOP!  DO NOT spill any water on your expensive track suit!  Spread your legs, shoulder length apart, and lean forward and slowly drink your water or Gatorade.  This is a good time to check your kneecap holders to make sure they aren’t about to fly off. Give big smile and a thumbs-up to those around you if your kneecaps are OK!

If Of course you have your phone with you, so be sure to check in on Facebook Places at each water station.

When you’re done with the cup, throw it as far away as possible so a woodland creature or fish can make a house out of it.  Running is very rewarding in itself, but being able to help animals is great too.

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