I clicked submit and there was no turning back—I had officially registered to run my first half-marathon! Now, don’t get the wrong idea. I am by no means a super-fit athlete or endurance sport junkie. And I’m not crazy either! Completing a half-marathon has been a life goal of mine for several years now, and, after witnessing two of my friends cross the finish line of their own half-marathons earlier this month, I decided it was finally time for me to make it happen!
If you also aspire to run a half-marathon, you may have put off taking action towards this goal because, let’s face it, distance running is intimidating! So, over the next few months, I will be sharing my training journey in hopes of encouraging those of you who are looking to tackle the 13.1-mile challenge.
If you’re like me, the hardest part of achieving any goal is getting started! So, let’s take a look at some common reasons for shying away from running a half-marathon, and why these reasons are false!
I can barely run 1 mile, so how could I ever finish a half-marathon?!
Even if you are new to running, as long as you start early (I’m giving myself 15 weeks to train) and consistently build-up your mileage, you CAN become a distance runner. Many great training plans are available for free online. Most programs will combine 3-4 days a week of running with at least one rest day and two cross training days, when you do a non-running form of exercise, such as the elliptical machine or yoga.
But I don’t have time to train!
Working training time into your schedule doesn’t have to be difficult! If you already schedule time into your busy week to hit the gym, substitute some of that exercise time with running. If consistently making time for physical activity isn’t your thing, don’t worry! Take a few minutes to look at your weekly schedule, including classes, work, etc., and identify chunks of time that could be used for running. For example, I don’t have class Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, so I choose to run then.
Wouldn’t it be more fun to stay in my sweats and watch Netflix?
Being a couch potato may be easier and less challenging than training for a half-marathon, but think of all of the benefits developing a running habit will bring you! Lower stress levels, a more fit body, bragging rights, and the list goes on! Plus, just because you’re choosing to take training seriously, that doesn’t mean that you can’t reward yourself with a lazy afternoon catching up on episodes of The Office to reward yourself for all your hard work (that’s what I do!).
By now, I hope I have convinced you that training for a half-marathon is completely doable and totally worth it. So, let’s do this! Google half-marathons in your area, find a training plan, lace up your shoes, and get running!
Lauryn is a sophomore studying Sociology and Theology at the University of San Francisco, with a minor in Philippines Studies. She is originally from Northern California, but has fallen in love with the Bay Area and enjoys exploring San Francisco and spending time outdoors when she’s not busy with school. She loves anything with chocolate, and her ideal afternoon would be spent running to the beach and reading a good book! She is passionate about social justice, and hopes to work in the field of international development or international education after graduating. Currently, she is preparing to run a half-marathon, which is one of her life goals, and she is excited to share her training journey with you all!