Running Your First Half Marathon

Fitness guru and Go Girl Runner, Megan Mayer of Megan Mayer Fitness is on the blog today sharing some of her favorite tips for your first half marathon! Check them out below and be sure to follow Megan on all her running adventures over on Instagram @mcm_runs

Hey guys, its Megan from Megan Mayer Fitness here to share some of my favorite tips for your first half marathon.


  • Find a training plan and try to stick to it, but don’t freak out if you miss a few workouts. You will be fine.
  • Never try anything new on race day. That includes food and clothing. Use a 10 mile + run as a test run for race day. Do everything you will do on race day during this test run. Wear the clothes you plan on wearing, eat the same pre-race meal, and use the same fuel during this test run as you plan on doing during the race.


  • Make your race dummy the night before. Find a spot on the floor or on a chair where you can lay out your outfit. Include everything you are going to use; clothing, shoes, hair accessories, watch, music, race bib, fuel, body glide, hydration, and anything else you might need. This will make race morning less stressful.
  • Make sure all of your devices are charged and ready to go.
  • Set two alarms just in case.
  • A week before the race, make a race plan. Whether you just want to have fun or if you have a time goal in mind. Having a plan will make things go smoother during the race. If you are trying to reach a time goal, look to see if the race has pacers and decide if you want to run with the pacers. Also, know when you will take in your fuel (minutes or miles).


  • Go over the parking maps the night before so you know where to park. Make sure you account for traffic. Even though it will be early in the morning, there will still be some race day traffic you will have to maneuver around. So allow yourself plenty of time to park in the morning.
  • Know which corral you are supposed to start in and make sure you know the exact time it closes.
  • Allow for extra time to use the port-a-potties and drop off your check bag (if you choose to do this).
  • Don’t freak out if you do not get much sleep the night before a race. This is common and you will be okay.

During the race:

  • Do not go too fast in the beginning. The start of the race will be exciting. They will be playing music, people will cheering you on, and you will be running with a lot of other runners. Try not to get caught up in all of the excitement.
  • Go over the course map and know where all of the aid stations are.
  • It is okay to walk all of the aid stations. If you choose to run through the aid stations, pinch the top of your cup so you can drink it on the move.

After the race:

  • Take time to enjoy your finish line. Be proud of yourself, you just ran 13.1 miles!!!
  • If you are listening to music during the race, mute it or take it off before you reach the finish line. You will want to hear all of the people cheering for you. Sometimes you can even hear the announcer calling your name as you cross the finish line.
  • If you have someone waiting for you at the finish line, give them a bag with socks, shoes, a change of clothes, some nutrition, and anything else you might want right after the race. You can also put these things in your check bag if you are alone.

Good luck and happy training! P.S. if you run the Go Girl Half Marathon, you will get a HUGE medal!

A little about Megan: I graduated from the University of Oklahoma, with a degree in Health and Exercise Science. I am a Physical Education Teacher and a Personal Trainer: NSCA-CPT. I love making strength training programs for runners. I ran track and field in high school then I carried that love of running into distance running. My current race numbers are: 25 half marathons (13.1), 15 marathons (26.2), 1 half Ironman (70.3), 1 full Ironman (140.6), and several 5Ks, 10Ks, and smaller triathlons. Follow my journey on my Instagram (mcm_runs) and at my website