A half marathon. 21 long kilometers. Only you, the distance and your thoughts. If you’ve never done one before it can seem daunting. How does it really feel? How can you possibly run for that long without getting bored? What even goes through your mind during such a long run? We asked our running team and gathered a few of their thoughts for you:
“I imagined it being nicer when I was on my couch.”
During your run, especially at the beginning, you will think of hundreds of excuses and possible reasons to stop now and go back home. Ignore them, be stronger. When you get to around 10km, that’s when you to actually start to enjoy it. So stick in there. In the end you will be incredibly proud of yourself.
“What do I want to achieve in life?”
A run is the perfect time to reflect not just on your performance and goals but also your life. Whilst running, all the things you’re too busy to think about during your stressful everyday life, like life goals, changes, how far you’ve progressed and where you see yourself in the next year, will start flooding your mind. You never know, this half marathon might just change everything.
“What do I have to do again tomorrow?”
As mentioned above, running is when your mind has a chance to explore the things you usually don’t have time for. It’s also a chance to remind you of the important things you usually forget. Birthdays, phoning an old friend, a project that you totally forgot about. Sum up the previous day, and plan the next.
When you start to feel low on energy and worried about the amount of kms ahead of you, the best thing to do is think about breathing. Focus on the little things. Start to feel the ground, the wind, the sun. Watch the trees, the animals and the people. Put one foot in front of the next and just enjoy the moment.
“This place is beautiful, never noticed that before.”
You have two free hours and want to train? Great, use this time for a discovery tour! Run without any defined destination. Explore corners of the city you’ve never been before. Take the path that you usually avoid because it’s too steep and expand your horizon. The best thing is, you will discover some really nice new restaurants parks that you wouldn’t have known existed otherwise.
“This is my jam! Let’s pick up the pace!”
Music is a great way to get lost in your run. So prepare a long playlist with all your favourite tracks at a tempo just right to push you and you’ll be fine.
“I’m at kilometre 15. Right…?”
You thought the coach just told you a few minutes ago that you reached kilometre 15. Suddenly you’re not so sure. Was it really 15? Or was it 14? No, it was definitely 15, I would remember that! Shortly after, your Coach tells you that you’ve just reached 14 kilometres. Damn.
“The blister on my right foot is going to be huge.”
Particularly during the beginning of your development as a runner, you will surely have a blister or two. However, you will get a grip on this with the right running shoes. Simply read our article on buying shoes.
“I will never be able to do 21 kilometres.”
A half marathon is long. You will notice this at latest when you are running it. Or at least when you try to do so. But this distance is also absolutely possible. Slowly increase your volume and soon you will be running distances that you never thought you would be able to handle.
“Oh, I already ran 21 kilometres.”
You finish the first 10 kilometres, and although it’s not getting any easier, you’re enjoying it more. Without evening sparing a thought, you’re running further. And further. And further. Without expecting it, your running coach suddenly says “500 meters to go”. Did you already make it this far? You give everything you’ve got to the last few meters. Finished. So that was it? A half marathon is not outer space. It’s just a lot of training and even more willpower.
What do you think of during your endurance runs? Let us know and leave a comment.