Thinking about running a half marathon? That’s 13.1 miles, lucky for you I have 13 half marathon training motivation tips for you! Tips, tricks and thoughts that will hopefully motivate you to cross that finish line!
With all things that are not instantaneous, it requires some preparation. Even when you get ready for your day, most of us don’t jump out of bed and head out the door. Some of us may take longer to prepare, but we all need to brush our teeth in the morning. Half marathon training is no exception, we have to train our bodies, but also our minds. It can take a toll on your body when you’re continuously running or walking for that many hours. Also, it would probably drive us mad if we didn’t mentally prepare ourselves for the pain it will cause and boredom if you’re anything like me who needs to be entertained at all hours of the day. Preparation means getting good running shoes, a trainer, proper nutrition and other things that you may deem necessary.
Finding a reason to run a half marathon would be a good way to prepare yourself for the next few months. Is it because you’ve always wanted to do one? Is your friend participating and convinced you? Is this one for a good cause that you feel strongly about? There are a lot of good reasons on why you should do it, just find one that means the most to you.
A great way to truly motivate yourself for a half marathon is to sign up for a 5K or even a 10K [our group is doing the Color Run in a few weeks, sign-up and join]. There are many of these all year round and most of the time they are for good causes. Cancer research, autism, illness awareness, etc. There is no better way to prepare yourself than to go out and do something good for someone else. They’re not all serious either, they can be fun such as The Color Run, Hot Chocolate 5k, Zombie Run, there is a lot if you scrounge the internet. Grab a few of your friends, even if they’re not prepping for a marathon, they’ll enjoy running from zombies.
I’ve heard that the minimum suggested preparation for half marathon training is about three months. That means you have three months to lace your shoes up and to get pumped for your race! Use these shorter races to assist in your training. Do one for fun and then when your half marathon inches closer do another one at race pace. I think a part of half marathon training is to pace yourself to not sprint off when you first start your race, you know what they say, “Slow and steady wins the race.”
Not only do you need to get into physical shape for this marathon, but also you need to prepare yourself mentally for what is to come. It can be a grueling journey, what you are trying to do, but it will be worth it in the end. Keep your thoughts positive and try to focus on something other than the pain you feel in your muscles. Tell yourself that you decided to start this half marathon training and that you will finish it. Prepare to be alone with your thoughts for an extended amount of time.
Another half marathon training motivation tip is to know what course you’ll be on. What’s the layout like? Is there pavement? Is it all dirt? Is there an incline? Study the course you’ll be on, it’ll help you know what you’re in store for and to also help you train more effectively. If you know what the terrain is then you can start training on one similar to that one. Overall, it will benefit you to know what is in store for you when you’re on that track. You can make mental notes if you see a familiar landmark and tell yourself that you’re halfway done. It pushes you to keep going when you can tell yourself how far you’ve gone and how much further you need to go.
A good half marathon training motivation tip is to reward yourself with a good playlist of your own creation. If you’re like me, then music can change your mood in an instant, from that first beat or to your favorite artist hitting that last note at the end of the song. It can lift your spirits and all around make you feel happier. Create a playlist of your most uplifting songs, your favorite ones spanning from when you were a child to an adult. Do you have that playlist? Now, set it aside and only allow yourself to listen to it when you are running. Another good tip is to create a long playlist, one that can sustain the entirety of your practice runs. Are you one of those people who park their car right as a good song begins to play, but knows you can’t get out until the song is over? It’s a good motivator, you’ll want to keep running if your favorite song is playing. I know that when a good song starts playing on the radio I have to finish the song. I can’t stop halfway through a good song, can you?
Are you stuck in an endless routine for your half marathon training? Try finding a new route to practice on or a different location altogether. Perhaps you need some cross-training like a boot camp. Maybe you need a scenic route to take, if you live near the coast, try training around the beach or in a forest. If a new location is not the answer, you can always go left instead of right at the fork in the road. Make sure you are safe, be aware of your surroundings, you never know what creatures could be lurking in the shadows. Most importantly, remember to keep it simple so you can find your way back to the entrance.
The best way to get through something that takes a lot of time is to bring a friend along. Time surely does fly when you’re having fun. Maybe your friends are not into the whole running thing or outdoors thing. If your friends cannot be convinced to go with you, try finding a group through Facebook or a forum on the internet. It sounds weird, but a lot of people can have the same interests as you and are in need of a training partner as well. Nobody likes to do things alone, find someone to join you.
After you finished your practice, make a plan to do something fun after. Go out with friends, paint the town red, take a nap, watch a movie, anything you enjoy, you should do to reward yourself for a run well done. Now think about doing something you’ve always wanted to do, but couldn’t convince yourself to take the time off or spend that amount of money. Plan for that something for after you cross that finish line. Treat yourself to a spa weekend or take a mini-vacation. You deserve it, treat yourself!
You know what a great half marathon training motivation is? The physical perks of running multiple times a week for months. You don’t decide to run a marathon because you want to lose weight or because you want to get toned. These things just happen to be perks of you decided to run 13.1 miles. When you don’t see family and friends for a while they may notice these benefits and that will boost your confidence levels. Have your friends and family track your progress. Not just your physical appearance, but your mileage as well. Maybe, you’re running three miles without stopping now, that’s incredible, I can’t even get past one mile. If other people are tracking your progress, it helps keep you accountable for training.
13.1 miles seems like a lot when you only see it as a whole. Try not to think about it entirely, it’ll be less daunting. Just think one foot in front of the other. Focus on what is right in front of you versus what’s to come down the road. When you focus on the entire course it makes it feel like it’s a big and grand thing that you’re trying to achieve. It belittles you and your capabilities when you think about completing that many miles. Instead, focus on getting to that tree a few feet away, then get to that person handing out water, now focus on getting to that bush on the side of the track. When you focus on the smaller goals, the big one doesn’t seem so out of reach. After passing all of those things, you might only need to get through two more miles.
If all comes crashing down during your race, remind yourself why you started in the first place. The best half marathon training motivation that I have for you is to think about that reason why. You can do it if you put your mind to it. I know you’re in pain, but it’ll all be worth it in the end. After you cross that finish line you can tell yourself you won’t do this again, but at least you can say you did it once and you succeeded! Remember, Forrest Gump didn’t stop running, so you shouldn’t either!
If you’re thinking a half marathon is for you, come join our group as we prepare for the San Jose Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon October 6th, 2018. It may seem like a long time away for half marathon training, but it is never too early to prepare yourself!
Get more information from our team on half marathon training and get yourself ready for your race!