Seawheeze 2014 was one of the best experiences of my life. It was my first half marathon. I was able to travel to Vancouver to do a beautiful run. I was so in love with it, I signed up only a month after finishing, just to run it again this year.
That said, it was my first half, and there are a lot of things I’d like to improve on the next time.
Run other races. Seawheeze was my first half marathon, but it was also my first real race. I didn’t start running until 14 weeks before the race, and unfortunately, I couldn’t even fit a real, organized 5k in before it. But this year, I’m running a bunch of different races. I figure, it’s good to figure out how the whole race circus works before you run 13 miles of one.
Train early. While I’m perversely proud that I went from couch to half marathon in a little under 4 months, I think it’s a pretty crazy goal if you aren’t incredibly devoted. I’m excited to have time to improve upon my runs, not just knock out specific mileage in hopes of hitting 13 of them by a certain date.
Cross train. The app strongly suggests yoga and cross training alongside the running. As a naive, but busy person. I figured. I’m running a race, I just need the running part. So I skipped all the suggested yoga, and cross training, and just ran. This caused a lot of unnecessary tightness, and pain, and if I was more of an idiot, potential injury.
Train outdoors more. I love, and will make every argument for treadmill running. I can set a pace, turn off my brain, watch bad reality tv on my phone, and put a giant fan on myself since I sweat more than anyone I know. But! If you’re going to run outside, you might want to do some outside runs. I’m hoping to fit more in, or find someone to run with in the park. (And yes, I do photograph my silly treadmill runs.)
Even with my newbie mistakes, signing up to run a half marathon on a whim was one of the best things I could have ever done. I’m just hoping to document my gaffes so I don’t let it happen twice. :)
Any half marathon, or just running tips you learned the hard way?