Here’s Exactly How You Can Dominate Your Next Half Marathon

Incorporate these tips into your training so you’ll go to the starting line prepared and healthy.

The half marathon is one of the most popular race distances globally. Its popularity makes sense because it’s far enough that you need to truly train for it, but the distance isn’t so much that training takes over your life.

If you’re taking part of the trend in the near future—whether you’re a 21.1 novice or a veteran looking for a new PB—there are certain things you can do now to ensure your next half is your best one ever.

Get the Right Gear

Now—yes, now—is the time to invest in high-quality running gear. These items may seem like extravagant expenses, but the investment you make today will pay off for hundreds (and hundreds) of miles. Shirts, shorts, and pants that wick away moisture will protect you from chafing and keep you comfy no matter the weather. Train in your new sweat-wicking garb so it feels familiar come race day.

Find Shoes That Fit

When selecting gear, don’t overlook the most important component: a pair of running shoes that fit well and provide the support your feet need. Worn-out or ill-fitting shoes are a leading cause of injury. To ensure you’re sporting the right pair of kicks, stop by a specialty running shop and get fitted by a professional. For training purposes (and even on race day)you’ll want something you will feel comfortable in, that is not only well-cushioned, but also has good energy return when you’re pounding out long mileage. Whatever running shoe you select, keep track of how many kilometre you log on them—you’ll want to replace them every 480 to 800 kilometres.

Refresh Deep Into Training

In a world where technology could easily run laps around your kilometre pace, developers and brands are constantly coming up with new tools to help you get more out of every run.Under Armour’s smart shoes (like the Hovr Infinite) just keep getting smarter. Sync them to MapMyRun to get real-time stats on your cadence, speed, distance, and, get this: shoe life. The app will even send you a notification when it’s time to replace your worn-out kicks for a fresh pair. Consider other ways to spice up your routine. Nothing drastic, but simple tweaks—like a new playlist, an inspiring Podcast, or a new piece of gear—can get you excited about getting out the door.

Refuel After Your Key Workouts

After a tough workout (think: a hill session, tempo run, or a long run), be sure to refuel within 30 minutes, ideally with a snack that packs a 4:1 ratio of carbs-to-protein, like chocolate milk. This will help restock your glycogen stores and ease aching muscles so you can bounce back for your workout the following day.

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