5 Pieces of Advice You Need for Your First Half Marathon from Coach Suz

Happy Monday, my dear friends!
Today I decided to do something different. As most of you know, I’ve signed up to run my first half marathon this year. This is my 3rd week of training and I’m absolutely loving it! *By the way, so does Bella! If you missed my post on how to turn your pooch into an endurance animal, you can read it here.* I may not be super thrilled to get myself out of the door every single run, yet the runners high post-run is totally worth it. Add some yoga and foam rolling to it, and I’m in heaven! *Haha!*
First half-marathon training tips
Here’s my plan for this week:
Monday – 4 miles
Tuesday – 30-40 minutes of cross training
Wednesday – 4 miles
Thursday – 30-40 minuts of cross training
Friday – rest day
Saturday – 6 miles
Sunday – rest day
Anyhow, back to the subject. I asked one of my dearest blogger friends, Susie, to do a guest post for me on half-marathon training. She is a big inspiration to me not only when it comes to running, but in general. I’d love to pick her brain if  I ever travel to Chicago and get to meet her in the flesh! Oh, and this girl is hilarious! And maybe, just maybe, you may have spotted her on Just Jillian episode during a mic malfunction in Chicago. *If you did, it was priceless!*
Without further ado, meet my beautiful friend Suz!
Susie Lemmer 2 
Hi Everyone! I am so chuffed to be here – I absolutely adore Olena and her gorgeous family, and I was so happy when she asked me to guest post on half marathon advice! For those who don’t know me, my name is Susie, and I claim the little slice of internet called Suzlyfe. Suzlyfe is a running, fitness, and healthy life blog written with the intention to educate, connect, and inspire readers to live beyond expectation! I am also an RRCA Certified Running Coach and NASM Certified Personal Trainer. Now, enough about me, let’s talk training!
So you’ve decided to run your first half marathon. The moment that you decide to embark on this adventure, you are going to hear advice, comments, and well (?) meaning suggestions from all sides. I am going to do you a solid and boil much of what you will be told to 5 pieces of advice that should guide your half marathon training. Here we go!
  1. Treat recovery and rest days like you do long runs, cross training, and all your other training days: as necessary evils/pleasures. The mark of a great runner as opposed to a good runner is one that accepts rest and recovery as being as important to the plan as the biggest workouts! And as they are as important, learn how to nail your recovery days. This doesn’t mean spending them sitting on your biscuit and doing nothing. Check out my tips for optimal muscle recovery, and also make sure that you still get up and move around some on your days off.
  2. Just because you are running a half marathon does not mean that you are going to run a marathon but know that you just might! Half marathons are kind of your make or break distance, in many ways. For a long time, I thought the half marathon was all I ever wanted to do; I had no interest in marathons. But I got curiouser and curiouser, as it were, and I decided that I would go for it (to be honest, the same thing happened with my blog writing!). And now, I’m a running coach. But to wit, remember that just because you are running a half does not mean that now you must run a full. Run a full when you want to, and the timing is best, if at all.Susie lemmer
  3. Get fitted for running shoes by an expert, and one month into training, go back and buy another pair of shoes (possibly different brand or model!). I say wait a month because you want to know that you really dig those shoes, and you will need that much time to get to the miles that will let you know that you like them and they fit properly. Blisters are not badges of honor. That is the sign of a bad fit–be it the shoes overall or just improper lacing. Once you have your two pairs of shoes, rotate them. This is how I rotate my shoes during training.
  4. Do a taste test of fuels before you go out on the road/trail. Make sure that you can stomach what you are going to shove in your mouth however many miles in before you are out there and desperate. HUGE thing here: carbohydrates must be taken with water. Not lots of water, but at least 4 oz/125 mL. Otherwise? You won’t absorb the energy, and you might just revisit that carbohydrate. Not fun. 
  5. Half marathon training (and training in general) is going to test you physically, mentally, and emotionally, but if you go about it properly, you should not get burned out from running. That isn’t to say that every run will be perfect, but you shouldn’t curse running by the time of the race. Check out my post on avoiding marathon training burn out, and think critically about your schedule, training plan, and your approach, and make decisions for how to make training sustainable
Because ultimately? I want you to love it so much that you come back for more. 

There is so much more advice that I could give you, but for that, I urge you to check out my blog, contact me at Coach Suz Training for one-on-one running coach and personal training services, and start picking people’s brains! Have fun, stay injury free, and live beyond expectations!

Find me as well on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook at @Suzlyfe and Instagram @the_suzlyfe

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Thank you so much for your amazing advice, Suz! *Isn’t she awesome?!* If you still haven’t, make sure to check out her blog for more advice and laughs. I can assure, you won’t be let down. I’ve been her fan ever since we ‘met’ in the blog world over 2 years ago.

Finally, don’t forget to check in with me this WEDNESDAY as I will be hosting a GIVEAWAY! *Hint: Fitness junkies, you will really love this one!*

Now it’s your turn!

Have you run or trained for a half- or even full-marathon? What is the biggest piece of advice you could share?

PS. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

xoxo
Olena

 

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25 Comments

Filed under Guest Posts, Half-Marathon Training, Running

25 responses to “5 Pieces of Advice You Need for Your First Half Marathon from Coach Suz

  1. Thank you so much, Olena! I am so happy that I could guest post and hopefully help a few people out!

  2. Great advice! Love that you two got together to share this one. Especially with marathon season in full swing, it’s so incredibly relevant and helpful to hear from experts in the field.

    Good luck with you’re training this week!

    XO, Jessica
    http://www.semisweettooth.com

  3. I just LOVE Suz…and if you ever travel here to meet her, let me know…I am about an hour west of Chicago!!!! She offered GREAT advice as usual! Another piece of advice, is to run your own race…especially for your FIRST, make sure you enjoy yourself and DON’T compare your runs/speed to others. The number one goal for your first is to finish!!! 🙂

  4. Thank you for those tips. I am a novice runner and hope to run my half-marathon one day. Until then… miles to go (pun totally intended) 🙂

  5. All great tips- I totally agree! I remember when I ran my first half I had no intention of ever running a full, and it took me a while to get to the point where I was ready (mentally and physically). It’s not something you need to worry about when you are just getting into running longer distances like the half-marathon!

  6. great post from a great gal. 🙂 good luck training!

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