It seems that half marathons are the new black - the bloom is off the marathon rose, and it makes sense. A half marathon is a challenge enough for many runners and rightfully so - it isn't JUST a half marathon. It has its own structure, its own training format and its own challenges.
So dear new half marathoners let me offer you some advice - some seemingly trivial and other hard learned.
First WELCOME! I am so glad you've decided to join the 13.1 miles of fun.
First things first Pre-Training aka: What to know before you start.
1. You MUST be honest with yourself about your current state of fitness. This is not an assessment of where you would LIKE to be, no, this is where you are NOW.
2. There is no shame in being a beginner. Let me repeat this, there is no shame in being a beginner. A beginner is anyone who cannot put shoes on at this moment and go for a 5-6 mile run with relative ease. You likely know if you can do this or not without even reaching for those shoes.
3. Speaking of shoes - if you are training this is the time to go buy yourself a new pair. Yes they may look expensive - BUT this is all you really need when it comes to your equipment and it makes the difference between you being injury free and not. Go to running store with a good return policy - ie. you can use them and return them for credit - some even will give you a complete refund. Try as many shoes as possible - do not let anyone rush you or talk you into anything - price and colour do not a better shoe make. When you find the shoe you really love and works for you consider buying future pairs online or south of the border for you Canadians where most prices are about 50% cheaper
4. Since we're on the topic of equipment - consider investing in a good pair of short/tights/running skirt - whatever floats your boat - these can be bought at an outlet. Don't worry, you're starting out. If you are not - then try online sites like roadrunnersports.com which offer discounts.
5. Lubrication. I know you're making an icky face - buy chafe stick and make it your friend.