If you are familiar with 2 Generations Running, than you know my mom and I LOVE the half marathon distance. It’s so popular right now with the ladies (61% of half marathon finishers in 2014 were females) that if I didn’t know anything about races/running, I would think it couldn’t POSSIBLY live up to all the fuss. But then, I would be wrong. If you’ve never tried a half marathon, you need to. Here’s why it’s my favorite distance and why my mom and I are aiming for 13.1 miles in every state.
- It gives you plenty of time to warm-up. When you run a 5k, you need to reach your race pace right from the get-go, which means you better warm up and be ready to kick ass right when that gun goes off. At least with the half marathon, you can ease yourself into your desired pace and still get a great time.
- 13.1 miles = plenty of scenery to check out, which is especially awesome if you’re running in a pretty or unfamiliar area. It’s the perfect way to explore, and you don’t have to worry about getting lost since your course has already been plotted out. No compass or map required. 🙂
- … But it’s also not so many miles that you will be essentially hobbled by the end of the race (*cough marathon cough…) One of my favorite episodes of How I Met Your Mother – when Barney spontaneously decided to run the NYC marathon, got on the subway after, and then got stuck because he couldn’t get up. 🙂
- It’s significant enough of a distance that you don’t feel silly traveling to run one. With a 5k, you’ll be done in half an hour or less most of the time. I love running, but even I would have to say it would have to be a pretty dang special 5k for me to be willing to drive 2-3 hours to run for such a short amount of time.
- But on the other hand, you won’t be running ALL DAY with the half marathon. Depending on the start time, you can finish up with plenty of time to grab a nice brunch afterwards, and who doesn’t love brunch?!
- 13.1 miles is still far enough to earn you some serious bragging rights with friends and family.
- Yeah, you may get a few blisters but I’ve never had toenails fall victim to the half marathon, the way I did when I ran the full marathon (I’m still traumatized from that clearly.)
- If you maintain a good base, you can train for a half marathon in a relatively short period of time. I trained for the Providence Half (and scored a PR!) with only 4 weeks of time to raceday from when I registered for the race. Unless you are some kind of Wonder Woman who regularly logs a 17-18 mile long run on the weekends (which if you are, then I salute you), that would be difficult to pull off with a marathon.
- It gives you time to make new friends out on the course. With shorter distances, most people will focus on going fast, which doesn’t make conversation easy. It’s a lot easier to commiserate with someone over a hilly course when you’re both going to be out there running for 2+ hours or so.
- With *most* half marathons, you’ll get a nice tech t-shirt. I LOVE running in my old half marathon shirts. Plus it’s a great conversation starter when you meet other runners who also ran that race!
So seriously – go register for a half marathon NOW. I’m sure I’ve got you convinced 😉
Have a great weekend!