I have so many lovely new running friends that are running their first half marathons this spring. There is nothing that gets me more excited than chatting with a new runner set to embark on training for a new challenge. I don't know how many yoga classes after group runs were started a minute or two late this spring because I got caught up talking to someone about their training.
When I say that I love it, I'm not even joking.
Here is some advice that I've given my new running friends:
Have fun. Both in training and on race day. That's why we do this right? There are a million races in the future that can be serious and focused and insanely hard training and effort, but you only get one stab at your first half, and to me it's more important to have fun putting in the training and completing the distance than getting wrapped up in a goal time.
Treat your long runs as practice for race day. Practice what you eat for breakfast, practice what you eat the night before your long run, experiment with clothing options to see what rubs and chafes and what will cause you to overheat, experiment with different fueling options. Most people have at least 12 weekends of long runs, so use those long runs not only to increase your distance to get you closer to 13.1 but also practicing your fueling to make those miles as enjoyable as possible.
Find some buddies to train with. I have never been someone to enjoy running with other people. Until this last year, and I seriously didn't understand what I was missing out on! Find someone faster to tag along with on your speedier days, find someone who's just starting to work toward a 5k or 10k for your easy days, and find an array of folks to join you for your long runs. Even having an extra body run with you for half of a long run makes all the difference.
Pinch the cup when you drink it. One of the best pieces of advice I ever got when I first started running. It helps you to drink without swallowing a bunch of air. Seriously. Genius.
What else am I missing?
What is something you learned the hard way that you wish someone had told you??