YOU can run a half marathon. Yes – YOU.

[tweetmeme http://the13thmile.com/2010/09/09/youcan/] “If you think you can do it, or you think you can’t do it, You are right.” 

 -Henry Ford

Photo Courtesy of: Library of NSW

 There are runners who are competitors. Against others. Against themselves.

 I just want to finish.

I am confident that many others share this attitude when it comes to long distance running. Hearing of superstars who tear through consecutive six-minute miles can cause intimidation. We think – I can’t run that fast! I could never do a half marathon.

But you can!!!

Everyone can!

If there is anything I have learned from my experiences training, from talking to so many other runners these past few months and from my own personal beliefs about goal-setting: ANYONE can run a half marathon.

ANYONE. Yes, you, who hasn’t been to the gym since Bush was still president. Yes, you, the person who can only run three miles (like me three months ago). Yes, you, the person who claims you are “too busy to train”.

Saying you’re tired, busy, out-of-shape, don’t know where to start…these are all excuses. Excuses you will snap in half – one step at a time. One mile at a time. Put one foot in front of the other. Keep doing it. And soon…you will hit 13 miles. Of course, I’m breaking it down to its most basic steps, but training is really that easy.

Granted, I’m not the roadrunner. I’m slow – My pace is around a ten-minute mile. I’m not perfect in form, in training, in anything else.  But the one thing I’ve got? Persistence. I don’t ever give up. I keep pushing forward. In my mind, there are two things you need to train for a half marathon: The goal of crossing the finish line and the persistence to not give up. Do you have those things? Then start lacing up your sneakers.

Here are my four basic tricks:

  • When building mileage: Take that extra half mile with each training session
  • Don’t be afraid to walk. Walking builds endurance and accustoms your body to long mileage
  • Once you are comfortable with the mileage: Run that extra half mile (instead of walking) with each training session
  • Listen to your body – Never push to the point of injury

My first official race is ten days from today, but for the past five weeks, half marathon distance runs have squeezed their way into my weekends. I want to tell you how easy it is to just cross the finish line. I want to encourage everyone who reads this post to share it with your friends who think they can’t do it.

They can.

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About the13thmile

I am proud to now say I am a half-marathon runner! Three half-marathons qualify for that status, I think. I blog about about running, nutrition and sometimes some other stuff. I share my research, tips and experiences with you, and am inspired by the supportive running community! I enjoy connecting with other runners, and hearing about other people's running experiences. Feel free to reach out if you have ran marathons or half marathons in the past!
This entry was posted in Inspirational, Run, Training and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to YOU can run a half marathon. Yes – YOU.

  1. Michelle says:

    Great post! I have talked myself into and out of trying a half marathon easily a dozen times now – I really want to run one and have now promised myself to sign up for one in early 2011. Good luck with your race!

  2. natali861 says:

    Wow this is just what I needed to read! You are a very inspirational writer. I have just signed up for my first half marathon in Austin, TX on Jan 30, 2011. Monday was my Day 1 of training, and it’s just scary to think of how far I have to go to get my body ready for this race. I can run about 3 miles comfortably right now, so I feel like I can relate to you. I am also not fast, and have never really fought for a fast pace… to me, the longer I can run without stopping the better, even if I have to slow down to avoid walking. I also feel like I have the persistance and determination it takes. I’ll have to go back and read all of your posts, so maybe I can learn from your journey as I’m starting my own!! Thanks!

    • the13thmile says:

      Hi – Thank you so much for your kind comment. Good luck on your first half. I hope that training is going well for you and please e-mail me if you have any questions or need any motivation along the way!!

  3. Noreen Knips says:

    This was really what I needed to hear tonight! I just registered for my first half marathon on Friday night…the Rock and Roll Mardi Gras Half Marathon on February 13th. I’ve been running 3- 3.5 miles semi-regularly, but tonight I got frustrated and started to think this may have not been the best idea because I was utterly exhausted just going this short distance…plus, my heart rate was at like 90% my max heart rate almost the whole time. I’m thinking that I just need to relax and be hopeful that my body will just adjust with the training. My official training schedule starts November 22nd. Thank you for this blog…it’s been very helpful!

    • the13thmile says:

      Glad to hear! One thing I have been told that might help (and sound counterproductive) – slow down. I used to push very hard in my runs and end up completely out of breath and out of energy. If you run at a slower pace, you can build endurance up while eventually planning to speed things up. Hope that helps and glad you read the blog. Keep me updated on your training!

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