My First Half Marathon Experience

If you follow me on social media, you might know that I ran the Swansea Half Marathon recently. Running a half has been on my list for a while but for some reason, it seemed really daunting. I’d run a 10k before but I didn’t know whether I could do double that (and a bit more).

However, I took the plunge in May and registered with 6 weeks to go until the big day. Generally, 6 weeks isn’t a long time to train but it was adequate for me. I’m quite fit anyway and used to running. I also have steely determination which always helps.

When it comes to training, everyone is different. So please don’t take my advice literally. This is just what worked for me and I’d recommend speaking to a personal trainer before you start.

After registering, I made sure that I ran 10k, twice a week. I usually ran 10k at the beginning and end of the week. At first, I focussed on achieving the distance then the time. My aim was running each 10k in an hour or less. In-between running, I kept up my stamina with two spin classes a week.

Half Marathon Training
Before the race

A week before the race, I did my longest run of 20k in 2 hours 9 minutes. Since my estimation was 2 hours, 15 minutes, I was pleased with my efforts. That was my last proper session before the main race. In my opinion, the worst thing you can do is over train leading up to the day. You need to save your energy!

A few days before the race, I jogged and walked to keep my fitness levels up. Plus, short bursts of exercise helped calm my pre-race nerves.

The big day

Despite the heat (running in 20+ degrees was an achievement in itself) and queuing for the toilet during the first 5k, I completed the race in 2 hours, 3 minutes. If I hadn’t needed the toilet, I would have definitely done it under 2 hours.

All I can say is what a fantastic experience! It was honestly one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things I’ve done. The atmosphere was incredible and to see so many committed people was truly inspiring. I wouldn’t hesitate doing in again. In fact, I’ve already signed up for a FULL marathon in 2019. No rest for the wicked!

Half Marathon
After the race

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