5 Common Half Marathon Mistakes

Contributed by Kelli Hashimoto, a 2017 Ambassador for the Berkeley Half Marathon. 

It’s less than one month until the Berkeley Half Marathon and it is almost time to start thinking about race day. As you start thinking about race day preparation, here are five common half marathon mistakes and our best tips on how to avoid them. That way, you will be prepared come November 19th!

Mistake #1: Try something new on race day

Race day is not the time to try out new outfits, shoes or nutrition. The last thing you want is to be uncomfortable for 13.1 miles. Though it may be tempting, stick to what you practiced. If there are things that you think you might want for race day, it is best to test them out now while you are training.

Mistake #2: Add in last minute training

Trust that your training plan will get you to the start line ready to crush a half marathon. Come race day, you will have completed your long runs, tested your race day outfit, and practiced proper nutrition/hydration. Try to avoid cramming in last minute runs during your taper – your legs will thank you on race day.

Mistake #3: Forget something at home

The morning of the race will likely be hectic as you scramble to get out the door in time while also trying to control your pre-race nerves. There is nothing worse than arriving at the start line and realizing you forgot something at home. We recommend that you pack a bag and lay out your race outfit the night before. It is one less thing to worry about the morning before your race.

Mistake #4: Going out too fast

One of the most common half marathon mistakes is going out too fast at the start line. Try to get in your zone, slow down and take it all in. After all, you have 13.1 miles to go! Locate the race pacers at the start line, this will help you start with other runners around your speed and will help you to stay on pace.

Mistake #5: Lose focus

Running a half marathon is as much of a mental challenge as it is a physical challenge. There may be points along the race that you feel like quitting. Maybe you accidentally started out too fast in the first couple of miles. Whatever the case, remember why you started and how it will feel to cross the finish line. Don’t forget to have fun and smile!

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