How I survive my first long distance run (Half Marathon 21km)

I did it!

After dreaming about it for a year, I finally managed to run my first half-marathon distance session on a quite Sunday morning. It was not a race. It was merely a decision I made to go long distance of 21km that day.  I woke up around 4.50 am and had a few glass of water before decided to give it a try.

Now, please keep in mind I dare to do this long distance run after taking into consideration that

  1. I’ve been running and living a healthy life for a year now.
  2. I ran not less than 3 session per week of 5km or 10km each.
  3. I’ve learnt about proper running form to avoid injury.
  4. I’ve learnt proper breathing technique while running.

Confidence is important, so does the preparations I’d mentioned above. I always tell myself and fellow runner to ensure safety and make it a priority. It’s ok if I can’t achieve what I wanted TODAY, because there will always be TOMORROW. I just need to return STRONGER than the day I failed. So, no rush. Avoid injury the best I can.

MY PLAN

I’ve been using Google Maps app to plan my first 21km route. I make sure to use the route where there is shop selling drink. I bought my phone along and put it in a hydration bag. Just in case I can’t go any further, I will just call my wife and ask her to pick me up. Also useful when I encounter beautiful things.

So, for my first 21km, I decided that I will run the first 10km with an easy pace, somewhere around 7.30 min/km. The rest of 11km will be a combination of walk and jog. It’s not a race, so I don’t really care about being fast. The only thing that important is to finish the 21km distance.

It was the usual run during the first 8km. Met some runner & cyclist that morning along the way. I was hoping to get the of view the sunrise but it was cloudy that day.

After 10km, my legs felt tired. The route I chose involved some hill so from there I started walking. So for the next 11km I walk and jog non-stop. I made two stops at some shops to buy drinks. I will improve this in next run – reduce time spent in a shop.

After the 18km, my quads felt hard as rock. I couldn’t jog, so I walked. This must give some shock to my body, because I never do this long distance session. Good thing that this is not a race, or else my mind will tell me to keep pushing and eventually might cause harm to myself.

3 hours later, I completed my first half marathon distance run, walk & jog. It’s a New Year gift to myself. I brought a phone thinking if I can’t complete this session, I will just call my wife and ask her to pick me up half way. But I didn’t call her. And the fact she waited for me to finish the run is just great.

CONCLUSION

I wear a hydration backpack to keep my phone, a 150ml water bottle and some dried fruits. However, I think I don’t need to carry the bag if Im just running on the road. I need to drink enough water before the run and bring a hydration bottle that simple to carry and some money to buy drinks when stopping at shops. The backpack messing with my body movement. I felt lighter running without carrying anything especially on the road. Unless if I am going to run on trail, I will carry the backpack.

Warming up is important. I learned this during the last 5km of the run. It’s the usual pain you get on your muscle when you didn’t do warming up. I should spend 15 minutes warming up before next run.

Core strengthen is important. That is what helps me to keep going. I spent 2016 just running without doing other exercise. I didn’t see much improvement. Now its 2017, added core strengthening to my daily routine and I just break my 10km PR, and now the 21km run.

Looking forward to set personal record of 2 hours and 30 minutes Half Marathon in 2017!

 

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