Whether you’re looking for a new running goal to crush or just getting into the sport, completing a half marathon is a great goal for both competitive and novice runners. In fact, Back on My Feet Alumni member Mike describes finishing his first Half Marathon as, “one of the greatest moments of my life”. So, why should you run 13.1?
1. You haven’t done one before
Does running 13.1 miles kind of freak you out? Good! It is a lot of ground to cover and takes a level of commitment, but, as they say (and what we fully believe at Back on My Feet): you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Plus, there are training plans out there for runners of all abilities and experience. Pick one that is most compatible with your schedule and running background. The right training plan can make a lofty goal seem much more manageable.
2. Running feels boring
Running the same routes, at the same pace, at the same time of day, day after day can get really stale really quickly. Not to mention, put you at risk for injury! If you think your routine could use some shaking up, signing up for a half-marathon race might be the answer. Add in some longer runs and speedwork and you’ll be ready to race in no time.
3. You’re already training
Working towards a 5k, 10k or 10-miler? If you’ve been thinking about running a half-marathon, this might be the time to do it. While you’re already motivated and committed to your training, why not tack on that half marathon to your race schedule? Depending on your goal race, you won’t need to do too much additional training to prepare for a half.
4. You need a vacation
Ever heard of a runcation? Signing up for a half marathon away from home is the perfect opportunity for a mini-vacation. Extend your trip for a few days after your race (you don’t want to waste too much energy walking around before!) and check out the sights of a new city or town.
5. It’s NOT a marathon
No offense marathoners, but marathon training is a HUGE time commitment. If you’re not in a place to set aside several hours a week for double-digit long runs, consider signing up for a half marathon. It’s still something to be proud of…and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
6. It’s for a good cause
If you’re not feeling motivated to run a half marathon for yourself, do it on behalf of an organization near to your heart. Charities, like Back on My Feet, sell bibs to popular local and national races in exchange for your fundraising support. Rep your favorite organization and cross a bucket-list race off your list!
7. To meet new people
Many local running clubs host group runs around the time half and full marathons are happening in their cities or towns. Sign up for a race and join them! Training is more fun when running buddies to hold you accountable.
8. You can eat more dessert
Okay, so maybe you shouldn’t eat something sweet at the end of every meal, but with extra mileage, you need supplemental fuel (and CARBS!). Sometimes the best way to get through a long run is by dreaming about the delicious donut(s) you’re going to reward yourself with at the end.
9. You need new shoes
Good running shoes can be expensive. But, when you have a race on your calendar (especially a longer one, like a half-marathon), the investment is totally worth it. You’ll be putting a lot of miles on those shoes and it’s nice to start your training off with some fresh tread.
10. You need new gear
Long runs can be uncomfortable if you don’t have the proper gear, especially if the bulk of your training is during the winter. Make sure you at least have a solid pair of tights or pants, moisture-wicking gloves and a wind-proof jacket. Plus, lots of warm layers!
11. You’re bad at taking breaks
Runners LOVE running. So much so that sometimes we forget to listen to our bodies. After you finish a half marathon, you should take a few days off for your legs to recover. Maybe even weeks! Scheduling a 2-4 week running break after your race will help to keep you healthy, injury-free and excited about running.
12. Thousands of people cheering you on
The spectators at big half marathons are loud, upbeat and energized. When you start to feel fatigued, you can count on someone to be there to boost your spirits.
13. The feeling of pride when you cross the finish line
It doesn’t matter if it’s your first or 100th half marathon. There’s no better feeling than crossing the finish line knowing that you accomplished something before most have started their day.
13.1. Run that half marathon!
What are you waiting for? You’ve made it to the end of our list, so there’s only one thing left to do. Make your next race a half marathon!