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I am running my first half in late February and am already freaking out. It's the Disney Princess Half, which sounds like a good time but I am just going through constant questions in my head.
I would love some insight on some things, so reply as necessary =)
First off: shoes and socks. I bought Nikes over the summer and have used them in 3 5ks so far and am training in them for this half. Do I really need to invest in new running shoes if these are doing fine for me? I'm also wondering about socks. I tend to get blisters on the inner part of my big toe and the inner part of my foot right under the big toe, are there socks that help with this? If not, what socks do you recommend for long distances?
Second: Eating. I know I should load up on carbs a few days before, but does this include the night before? How early should I eat and what should I eat the morning of and how long before the race? I plan on consuming water while eating before the race, so I can use the bathroom and hopefully not have to go while I'm running.
Third: Stopping for water. I've heard some people stop only at a few stations and other stop at every station. What's a happy medium here? I think I should stop at a few, but use Gu or Gummies when I am feeling tired instead of stopping constantly for water. Has anyone used the Gu/Gummies? If so, how often did you eat one?
Fourth: Clothing. Should I wear spandex under running shorts? Just running shorts?
Fifth: chafing. Should I just go ahead and get a glide stick? Has anyone had trouble with chafing?
Sixth: Cold weather training. Any tips on what to wear for winter running?
Any insight would be a great help to me!
#1. Shoes wear out somewhere between 300-500 miles and need replacing. The wrong shoe can also cause blisters. Socks: wool bend help my wife and daughter with blisters, also some glide (any lub on the hot spots will help). Good shoes will help with a lot of issues.
#2. For a 1/2 no big need to carb load it is not going to hurt, and the night before sure why not. The morning of your race get up early enough to eat something about 500 cals or so 2 hours before the race starts, you should get most of your water/sports drink in during this time. After this time just slip sports drink or water so you don't have to go to the bathroom during the race. Since this is your 1st you should not be worrying about a time so a bathroom break will be okay.
#3. For a 1/2 it's not that big of a deal, since it's your 1st and time should not be that big of a deal, walk thru when you need water, and a cup at each will not hurt you. As far as gels, every 35-45 mins for a marathon , for a half I will take 1 around mile 6-7. Make sure what ever you take you have use during your training runs.
#4 My shorts I run marathons and 1/2's in are line with spandex and I like it. Helps a ton with chafing.
#5 If you have spots that you know will chaft use the glide, it does help.
#6 See post on this tread, I live in SE NC and tights and light jacket is all I ever need. For your race if its 40 dress like its 55.
Congratulations on your decision to run a half marathon! Having recently run my first half mrathon, I can say that I don't think your questions are ridiculous at all.
#1 If you think your shoes are contributing to blisters, you may want to replace them with some that don't. Blisters are not inevitable. Socks might solve the problem too. Plain old cotton socks are like sandpaper once they are wet. Moisture wicking socks are definitely the way to go. One inexpensive example are the Dri-Stars that are available for around $6 for three pairs
#2 I don't know if you really need to carb load the night before but it surely can't hurt to consume carb-rich foods the week before the race. Prcatice your pre-race meal and use it to predict nature's associated response. For my first race I consumed 12oz of water, 8 oz of coffee, two pieces of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and sliced bananas. I consumed this breakfast three hours before the race. I did not drink anyhting in that three hour time period. No potty breaks were necessary during the race.
#3 I took fluids at every water stop. I took one cup of Gatorade and one cup of water at each. Fluid levels in the cups may vary widely! I probably did not need to stop at every one but I felt good, not sloshy, so I think the fluid intake was OK. Practice your fluid requirements! As far as gummies or gels, I didn't use anything during the race but I did practice with them during training. My stomach isn't a fan of running with food in my stomach and I knew beacuse I practiced it.
#4 I wear soccer shorts with compression shorts underneath. I wore a moisture wicking tech tee for the race. Practice in your race gear!
#5 Chafing was not a problem for me with the compression shorts and tech tee. No lubricants necessary. Find what works for you! My wife swears by Lanacane anti-chafing gel.
#6 For cold weather use lightweight layers (if necessary) and definitiely dress as if it were 15-20 degrees warmer out.
If you are like me, you will read all of the responses and still have your doubts right up until the gun goes off. Trust your training and practice the details. You will be fine!
2012 Minneapolis Polar Dash 1/2 Marathon 2:06:56
2012 Brainerd Jaycess Run for the Lakes Marathon 4:48:10