Fitness, Fitness Tips, Race Recaps

Advice For Your 1st Half Marathon From 8 Experienced Runners

I want to thank all of the incredible people who helped contribute to this post. Your advice is so valuable and I have learned so much just putting this post together. THANK YOU!

You can spend 984759845 hours on Google looking up advice on running a half marathon but there is no better advice than that of REAL people.

People who are balancing a family, kids, a full time job, injuries, distractions, friendships, relationships, to drink that beer or not to drink that beer….etc!

For this post I asked 8 fellow runners for 1 piece of advice they’d give to someone running their first half marathon.

These 8 people are not professional runners. They are REAL people who run for the joy, the challenge and thrill that running a half marathon brings. THIS is the advice to take to heart!

I know on a personal level that every single one of these people has made sacrifices for their training, they’ve dedicated hours and hours of their time to running while balancing a busy schedule and are some of the most inspirational people I know.

Runners are a special group of people. Normal people don’t voluntarily PAY to wake up and run a race at 6:00 am for a t-shirt and free beer haha. But in all seriousness, this sport truly brings out the best in people and is a community I am so proud to be a part of.

Enjoy this post and best of luck to any of you running a half marathon in the near future!

Featured Runner: Carolyn


What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone running their first half marathon?

“Time isn’t everything. Enjoy your first half marathon. Your attempting something that not everybody will accomplish in life. You need to enjoy it. Your goal should be to finish. Leave timing for your second one.”

“I realized this while I was running over the golden gate that I need to appreciate that moment and take that selfie. And it brought me back to way I love running and made the next 8 miles easy.”

How many half marathons have you done? 2

What’s up next? Rock N Roll San Diego!


marathon advice


Featured Runner: David


What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone running their first half marathon?

“Weekly distance is more important than single day running distance when you first start training. in other words, run 1 mile 5 times a week instead of 2 miles 3 times a week. Your distance will increase gradually as you get in better shape. Once you get in the habit of running, there are training schedules you can easily find online for half marathons. Also, stay hydrated during the day, not just when you run. Basically your pee should never be yellow!!!”

How many half marathons have you done? 2 half marathons, 3 full marathons

What’s up next? No races planned


marathon advice


Featured Runner: Kellen


What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone running their first half marathon?

“My one piece of advice to someone running their first half marathon would be to always remember why you started. Training will not be easy, but it is doable. You have to have the mental strength and persistence to get through the training and conquer the distance. Remembering your “why” will help you get there. And have FUN because you never get your first half marathon back so enjoy every single moment of that experience — the good and the bad.”

How many half marathons have you done? I’ve done 5 half marathons and 1 full marathon. I ran my first half marathon in June of 2014.

What’s up next? As of right now, my next scheduled race is the Road Runner Sports Craft Classic Half Marathon in July (not including The Neon Run 5k this weekend). I’m still hoping to do 1-2 more halfs before then.


marathon advice


Featured Runner: Susan


What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone running their first half marathon?

“I think running the course (if possible), doing interval training and hills. Get new shoes awhile before your race to break them in. Try different sports drinks and energy gels in training so you know exactly what works for your body on race day- get as specific as what clothes, hats, socks…etc make you run your best. I also always like to run a full 13 miles before tapering so I’m comfortable with the distance come race day.”

How many half marathons have you done? 3

What’s up next? La Jolla Half Marathon


marathon advice


Featured Runner: Me


What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone running their first half marathon?

“My advice would be to enjoy the entire process. Enjoy the rush you get when you sign up for a race, enjoy training (the good and the bad runs), enjoy the satisfaction of running further than you ever have before, enjoy an ice cold beer after a long run, enjoy gossiping with your training partners, enjoy the pre race stress, enjoy running the course and don’t worry about your time (that comes later), enjoy crossing the finish line, enjoy another ice cold beer, enjoy your embarrassing race pictures, enjoy celebrating this HUGE accomplishment with your friends and family!”

“And another actual piece of advice would be to run at least 12 miles before your race. A lot of people disagree with this but before my first half I ran 13.1 miles just so I knew I physically could do it come race day…it really helped calm my nerves. Now I always am sure to get up to at least 1 12 mile run before a half.”

How many half marathons have you done? 3

What’s up next? La Jolla Half Marathon 


Running Motivation

Your Turn,

What advice would you give to someone running their first half marathon?

Have you ran a half marathon?

Do you have any half marathons coming up?


Today I’m linking up with Suzlyfe for Running Coaches Corner and Fitful Focus for Wild Workout Wednesday!

 coachescorner linkup2

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  • Reply Amanda @ Exploring Life & Things April 13, 2016 at 9:52 am

    I love this post! All of this advice is so true and I think enjoying the process is so important. My next half will be my 5th one and that’s crazy to me! Less than 2 years ago I never ran more than 2 miles tops haha.

    • Reply Diana Becker April 13, 2016 at 1:45 pm

      Thank you!!! It’s crazy how addicting running is! I just started running half marathons a year ago and probably will never stop!

  • Reply Nicole @ Fitful Focus April 13, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    What a fun post! Totally agree with getting a running buddy! They make long runs so much more enjoyable. My advice would be to take recovery as seriously as you take training. Rest and post-workout fueling are just as important as what you do during your run.
    Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted…Mindful Mobility + A Health UpdateMy Profile

    • Reply Diana Becker April 13, 2016 at 1:46 pm

      YESSSSSSSS Nicole! Best advice! Recovery is really what makes you stronger!

  • Reply Rachel April 13, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Love this. Awesome advice! Thanks for linking up 🙂

    • Reply Diana Becker April 14, 2016 at 6:44 am

      Thank you! Love the link up- I discovered so many amazing blogs through it yesterday!

  • Reply Barrie April 13, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    I just love this post! I love how positive everyone is, and especially Carolyn who focused on the “enjoy” of this great feat that you work so hard towards! Great advice from all the contributors!
    Barrie recently posted…Race Training…Again! Getting Back in the Saddle After Taking Time OffMy Profile

    • Reply Diana Becker April 14, 2016 at 6:45 am

      Thank you so much! All of these people are incredible, Carolyn especially! We use to joke around and she would say how she couldn’t even run a mile…uhhhhh proof you can do anything you set your mind to.

  • Reply Annmarie April 14, 2016 at 5:38 am

    LOVE that you rounded up advice from all these amazing runners! Thanks so much for sharing and linking up- I will be sharing for sure 🙂

    • Reply Diana Becker April 14, 2016 at 6:46 am

      Thank you so much Annmarie! I love trying to incorporate other peoples perspectives into my blog 🙂

  • Reply Beverley @ Born to Sweat April 14, 2016 at 11:09 am

    so many great runners!! this is such a good idea for a post – right from the horses mouth haha. i now know where to come if i ever decide i’m crazy enough to run more than 5 km 😉
    Beverley @ Born to Sweat recently posted…Homemade Almond Butter: 2 WaysMy Profile

    • Reply Diana Becker April 18, 2016 at 4:59 pm

      Thank you! I wanted to get other peoples ideas not just my own all the time! You should try a 10k and if you’re feeling really crazy do a half- it’s the most wonderful experience.

  • Reply kerri mcgrail April 15, 2016 at 8:39 am

    Love these tips! I have done a few half marathons and am gearing up for my first full! I would say to make sure to hydrate consistently during your training and the week leading up to it so you don’t have to depend on the water/ sports drinks so much during the race.
    kerri mcgrail recently posted…WIAW: Chickpeas, Burrito bowls & Homemade GuacMy Profile

    • Reply Diana Becker April 18, 2016 at 4:59 pm

      Great tip!!! I always try to hydrate a week before too! I’m also training for my first FULL…AHHHHHHHHH! When is yours?

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