Are you running your first half marathon? Here’s how you’ll feel leading up to – and during – the race.
The day before the race:
Heartened (or devastated) by a 20-minute ‘shakeout’ jog that feels amazing (or terrible). Believe the former, not the latter.
Mentally scattered by nerves. Compensate by making a list of everything you’ll need on race morning. Lay out your gear, pin your number on your shirt, and lace the timing chip on your shoe.
Not hungry. Food will lose flavour and appeal. This is temporary. Eat as normal.
Sleepless. Remember how you felt as a little kid on Christmas Eve?
TIP It’s normal to experience a big-time case of nerves the day before a race. Distract yourself by playing with the kids or watching a movie, and try focusing on how well you’ve prepared rather than on what could go wrong.
On race morning
Compelled to triple-check that you have everything. Twice.
Zero appetite. Force it down, anyway.
Unusually devoted to port-a-loos. Nerves are hitting you in the gut.
Dawning awareness during your warm-up that you’ll be fine.
TIP ‘Arrive early at the race, as everything from parking at the start to waiting in the portables line can take longer than you expect.
During the race
Excited by the crowd. You must stick to your own pace and not go out too fast.
Tempted to skip early aid stations. But you will diligently drink at each one.
Challenged. Energy levels may dip. But you will overcome adversity by fuelling and hydrating regularly, and adjusting your pace.
Stoked. You made it. You did the work – now it’s time to soak up the vibe.
TIP In the first half of the race, go slower than feels necessary. Pick up your pace at the halfway point. The energy you saved in the beginning will help you finish strong.
Good luck! And don’t forget to rate your race, here, when you’re done!