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BTVMADS's Photo BTVMADS Posts: 985
8/26/12 8:48 A

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If you are traveling out of town for the race, avoid doing too much sight-seeing the day before your race! Spending hours standing and/or walking slowly tightens up your muscles and tires you out more than a 20-minute shake-out run.

When I ran Philadelphia, I was staying with a friend who lived in the city. We ended up walking MILES the day before the race because he relied on public transportation. I was much more tired at the start of the race than normal, and I felt pretty much wiped out by Mile 9. For my 2nd HM, The Flying Pig, I did next to no sightseeing the day before the race. The Pig's course was WAY harder than Philly's, yet I still PRed and didn't even feel tired until Mile 11 because my legs were so rested!

"If you don't take care of your body, where will you live?"

"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard everybody would do it. It's the hard that makes it great."

RUNHAPPEE's Photo RUNHAPPEE Posts: 7,266
8/25/12 9:31 P

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So glad for this post! I have my very first half marathon coming up next Sunday and I'm a little nervous so this helped a lot!


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ONMYMEDS's Photo ONMYMEDS SparkPoints: (126,924)
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8/23/12 6:20 P

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Some good advice here. Starting slow and easy is really important. Stay hydrated. Trust your training. Enjoy yourself!

SUSIQZER, I love your idea about breaking up the course. That could fit in with the overall strategy I found at They suggest to focus on running a patient and conservative race over the 1st 3 miles, relaxing during the middle miles, and than attacking the course for the last 2 miles.

Running the first mile or two too fast is one of the most common mistakes runners make. I can attest to that from personal experience. If it feels like you are running TOO slow, you're probably at just the right pace.

SUSIQZER's Photo SUSIQZER Posts: 2,410
8/23/12 5:49 P

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I studied a map of the race course and broke it up in my mind. So I was never thinking "13.1 to go.." It was "5 miles to the Boulevard...2 miles along the river..." It made it less overwhelming.

And yes, any spectators cheering along the way are cheering for YOU!


Edited by: SUSIQZER at: 8/23/2012 (17:50)
If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.

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BLUENAINA's Photo BLUENAINA SparkPoints: (24,689)
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8/23/12 7:17 A

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These tips are really helpful, my first 1/2 is in Feb 2013, I've been training since March lol, I'm still very slow and working on my pace but these tips are gonna help with my training.

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LOGOULD's Photo LOGOULD SparkPoints: (109,686)
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8/22/12 11:08 P

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Train and train under similar conditions/surfaces etc.

"Success is the result of what you do when the Woo Hoo is all through....."-ON2VICTORY (Robert)

"The miracle isn't that I finished...the miracle is I had the courage to start." - John 'The Penguin

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DAPHNE_RUNS's Photo DAPHNE_RUNS Posts: 4,216
8/22/12 10:26 P

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Run the race at your pace. Some people start off running too fast, some do the run/walk ratio, and then remember some runners have been running for a while so their pace may be at your pace.

Have fun

And remember to smile for the camera.



You must be careful how you walk and where you go, for there are those following you who will set their feet where yours are set. -Robert E. Lee

Miami Beach 13.1- (3/4/12) - 2:28
Fort Lauderdale 13.1 -(11/11/12) - 2:35
Weston Rotary half - (12/9/12) - 2:30
ING Miami half - (1/27/13) - 2:31
Miami Beach 13.1 -(3/9/13)

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JECKIE's Photo JECKIE Posts: 9,934
8/22/12 7:29 P

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Denise, I love that phrase: "Trust your training". It's so true. I'm training for my 2nd half and having followed my plan much more closely and even 5+ weeks out I'm way better prepared now than I ever was for my first.

Jeckie (aka. Sarah) - Lowell, MA - EST
Half Fanatic #3032

I have no "goal weight". MY goal is to be as healthy, strong and active as I can be. This isn't about my relationship with the scale but my relationship with the world.

Looking for recipes? I keep a Paleo-friendly recipe board on Pinterest!

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GLADGAD's Photo GLADGAD Posts: 5,690
8/22/12 3:58 P

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Don't do anything new on race day or the 24 hours prior to the race. Eat the things that you know agree with you. Finish eating dinner around 5:00 or 6:00 the day before. You can have something light before going to bed if you are hungry. Make your most important pre-race meal not the night before the race but the morning before or the night before that. Get plenty of rest the 2 or 3 days prior to the race in case you get pre-race insomnia.

During the race don't start too fast. In fact, run the first mile or two a little slower than you think you should go. If you normally run with music, use it during the race only if you think you need it and it relaxes and focuses you. Otherwise, my advice is to ditch the Mp3 player in favor of race sounds and talk to other runners. During my marathon in Miami I started talking to an older gentleman who was a Brit living in Rome and who enjoyed running marathons around the world. That was something like his 47th or 48th marathon.

Enjoy every moment, especially the step over the finish line. Good luck and I can't wait to hear about your race!


"God gave you your body as a gift, so you should take care of it." - My Mom
8/22/12 3:37 P

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Don't get stressed out that you cannot fall asleep the night before. :-P

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GETFIT2LIVE's Photo GETFIT2LIVE Posts: 4,836
8/22/12 2:35 P

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Don't stress about time or pace; the goal of your first half should be more about finishing than anything else. Trust your training, and listen to your body, run your own race and don't let the excitement of the race or the pace of other people push you to start out too fast. The #1 thing, I think, is to try to relax and ENJOY the experience!

Denise (Half Fanatic #1279) - PDT Time Zone

"The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do."
- William Bagshot

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TWINZMOM7 SparkPoints: (97,718)
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8/22/12 1:25 P

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Don't start too'll be so excited and high on andrenaline, which will make you want to go fast! Just run your run!!

Most importantly, HAVE FUN!! There is nothing like your first half. The sense of accomplishment....just wait!


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LADYRINO's Photo LADYRINO SparkPoints: (76,063)
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8/22/12 1:05 P

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My best tip is to enjoy the run/walk. There is only one first. The finish line is there whether you are the first or the last. YOU ARE AWESOME for even starting!!

"When I first started running, I was so embarrassed, I'd walk when cars passed me. I'd pretend I was looking at the flowers."
Joan Benoit Samuelson
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JECKIE's Photo JECKIE Posts: 9,934
8/22/12 11:26 A

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#1 thing - don't try anything new on race day, even if it's "fun"! LOL I wore a different pair of socks because they fit with the theme of the team I was running with. regretted that for 8 long miles. lol

But honestly, let yourself enjoy the atmosphere. Don't let nerves keep you from the crazy fun of race day. There is so much great energy to draw from!

Jeckie (aka. Sarah) - Lowell, MA - EST
Half Fanatic #3032

I have no "goal weight". MY goal is to be as healthy, strong and active as I can be. This isn't about my relationship with the scale but my relationship with the world.

Looking for recipes? I keep a Paleo-friendly recipe board on Pinterest!

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KCFEMME's Photo KCFEMME Posts: 1,350
8/22/12 10:52 A

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This isn't exactly about the running, but motivation can play a big part in performance. Most of the time you'll see people out on the course with signage, cheering you on. Think of them as your very own cheering section! If you have your name on your bib, shirt, hat, whatever ... they'll even call it out. It's such an ego boost hearing someone cheer you on ... gives you a little kick to get it moving again even if you are tired.

If you see a camera shooting the runners .... SMILE! Fake it if you have to, but it's one heck of a reminder of how proud you should be when you see those pictures and you look like you are enjoying yourself.

You can help / hurt yourself almost as much mentally as you can physically, so make sure you are looking for those positives even while your legs are begging you to stop!

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MHANE02's Photo MHANE02 Posts: 266
8/22/12 10:51 A

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I ran my first HM this past May and it was a great experience. What helped me along the way was sticking to my training schedule. If i missed a run, i made sure that i did not miss two consecutive runs. My HM was in Pittsburgh which included a variety of hills during the race. I made sure that during my training that i included hills into my run as well as flat areas. I was really surprised when i finally got to race day and made my way threw the 13.1 course. The biggest motivation that helped me get through the race was all of the fans and live music through out the course. It really made for a festive atmosphere and took your mind away from the 13.1 miles. I enjoyed this race so much that i've signed up for my 2nd HM in October. Next May i plan on running the FM in Pittsburgh. Good Luck with your training !


ROBYNLN's Photo ROBYNLN Posts: 661
8/22/12 10:50 A

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I think the most important thing is to go into the race well rested. Don't try to make up missed runs. Hydrate and try to get a lot of sleep the week before. You may have trouble sleeping the night before the race. In the race, resist the urge to start out too fast. Hold yourself back in the 1st few miles. If you still have energy for the later miles, then you can speed up. Most important, HAVE FUN!


"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

"Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If i quit, however, it lasts forever..That surrender, even the smallest act of giving up, stays with me" Lance Armstrong

"It doesn't get easier, you get better."

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TRACYMT2NY's Photo TRACYMT2NY SparkPoints: (0)
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8/22/12 10:38 A

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So my first half marathon is a little less than a month away....

Can you think of some of the things that worked for you.

What helped your endurance and stamina get through that race?

And how about things that you look back and wish you could change.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

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