5 Top Tips for Running your first Half Marathon
With only just over a week to go till the Robin Hood Half Marathon I thought I would pen down a few physio words of wisdom for those feeling nervous about facing it for the first time.
Tip Number 1– embrace the nerves! Feeling nervous is a normal chemical response as the body produces adrenaline to prepare for the oncoming stresses. You may feel nauseous, shaky, sweaty, thirsty, like you need the loo or just a bit jittery but don’t let these feelings swamp you. Take time the day before to sit quietly for a moment and visualize the event day. Walk through it in your mind, think positive thoughts and if you’re feeling anxious then try some deep breathing exercises in a quiet room. On the day have a moment to still your nerves, know that your body is preparing itself for the event not trying to sabotage it for you.
Embracing the nerves!!!
Tip Number 2– double check your kit!! Recently I turned up at a 27 miler and had left my bum bag at home with all my carefully packed provisions (doh). Luckily I had a coat and my trainers and there were aid stations along the way so I got away with it. Pack your bag the night before and mentally go through the process of getting up in the morning and what you will put on, travel in, run in, change into. Check you’ve got money, lip balm, your snacks, your lucky pants and anything else you know you need for the run and after.
Tip Number 3– plan your route or travel arrangements before you set off. The run itself will be so well signposted you’ll never get lost but do you know where to park, which tram to get ect. It’ll be busy so allow extra time to get there.
Tip Number 4– stick to your game plan. If you’re aiming for 2 hours 30 then find the pacer and stick to them like glue. Your adrenaline will kick in as the gun goes and as I can vouch for many a time you’ll go off like a bat out of hell, feel like Mo Farah for the first mile then realise you’re running way too quickly. You’re better to start cautiously and finish comfortably than start like a rock star and finish on your knees.
Tip Number 5– Keep warm!! There’s lots of standing around at the start and if its cold or rainy you will get chilly. Take a space blanket that you can wrap around yourself (or a bin bag) then you can discard it at the start. Make sure you join in with the warm up just to get your joints and muscles warmed up.
Lastly; and not really a tip, enjoy it!!! Look around, enjoy the sights and the crowds. Revel in the atmosphere do the oggie oggie oggie’s, high five the kids and be proud that you’re there doing it. When it gets tough dont hang your head but square your shoulders dig deep and push through it. It will be hard work but when you cross the line and get the medal you’ll feel ecstatic (well maybe not at that specific point in time).
Good Luck xx