Preparing for a big race feels easy at the beginning. As the miles continue to build week after week, however, it becomes imperative to implement a few half-marathon training tips to maintain your motivation. Simple changes, like creating a new running playlist or exploring a different route, help with day-to-day ambition, but for long-lasting half-marathon motivation, it’s a good idea to interweave inspiration into your weekly running routine.
Below are a few half-marathon training tips that I have found revitalize my body—and mind—throughout the weeks and months of preparation that precede that final 13.1 miles. From muscle recovery to running for a greater good, these techniques will help you retain your original ambition all the way to race day.
Run for a Reason
Charity running is the perfect way to inject inspiration into your training schedule. Not only do you receive the mental motivation that comes from helping a cause that’s close to your heart, but you also have the support of your family and friends (who have made generous donations to your fundraising efforts) at each step.
There are several national non-profits that have fundraising programs in place. You can also team up with a local foundation to benefit your direct community. Many races have partner charities that serve the region, and you can approach your favorite small organizations about setting up a GoFundMe page to benefit their cause as well. The possibilities are endless, as is the motivation that comes with running for a good reason.
Stretch, Stretch, Stretch
Without fail, there will be days when your legs feel sore, stiff, and heavy; adding regular stretching sessions into your routine will help keep your muscles loose and ready to run. I find that incorporating simple yoga poses into my daily fitness regimen gives me a chance to check in with my body and determine which muscles need the most attention.
Another great way to easily find time for stretching is by multitasking while watching your favorite TV show. Rather than sitting on the couch with a bowl of popcorn, take a seat on the floor with a foam roller and work out your calves. This is also a good time to ice anywhere that may be extra sore following a long run.
Meditate on Success
Sometimes thirteen miles sounds like thirteen million miles. Regular meditation can teach you the art of mindfulness and let you enjoy the present moment, rather than stressing about how much time you need to dedicate to running. By meditating for twenty minutes each day, you can train your brain to quiet the internal monologue and feel content with yourself and your busy schedule.
Along with encouraging a more peaceful mind, meditation also benefits breathing. By being aware of each breath, you can better monitor yourself during long runs and ensure you’re getting the proper amount of oxygen you need. Running itself can also become a meditative practice during which you can relax your mind while working out your body.
Motivation isn’t something that appears magically. You can create your own inspiration by keeping your body, mind, and soul invigorated throughout the half-marathon training process.
Now that we have set the stage for a motivating and successful training period, we can focus next time on race-day logistics, like what to eat the morning of and how to dig deep during the final three-mile stretch. How do you stay motivated when training for a half-marathon? Let us know with a #GoodMatters tweet! Happy running!
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