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12 Hardest Parts About Training For Your First Half Marathon

First time half marathoners, on a scale of 1 to 10, how terrified are you about running 13.1 miles? I feel you, I was at a 20 before my first half! Training for a half marathon requires discipline, courage and just the right amount of crazy! Let’s take a minute to keep it real and talk about the 12 hardest parts about training for your first half marathon.

1. Not knowing what you’re doing.
1 no idea what im doing
Totally clueless? I WAS TOO. The more time I spent on Pinterest looking for inside runner jokes and powerful inspirational quotes, the more confused I got! Who knew running was so complicated! I thought it was just one foot in front of the other!

2. Feeling like you’re dying after a few miles.
2 impossible
I think I Googled, “When does this get easier?” at least 13,001 times when I was training for my first half marathon. Running 4 miles felt like a pilgrimage, how was I supposed to run 13.1?

3. Being sore ALL THE TIME.

3 sore

There’s a point in half marathon training where you just accept that feeling sore is your new normal.

4. Feeling terrified before every single long run.


From the first time you run 5 miles to the first time you run 10 miles, every single long run will feel absolutely terrifying.

5. Spending all your money on cute running clothes.

5 nothing to wear race day

Whoever said that “running is free” is a liar.

6. Feeling IMPOSSIBLY slow.

6 slow

“Am I moving through quicksand? Is my pace normal? Will I be picked up by the sweeper van?” All questions I asked myself every single day when I trained for my first half marathon.

7. Discovering what “runner’s trots” are.


Rule #1 about running, always know where the nearest bathroom is.

8. Having a bad run and feeling defeated.

8 never be ready

BAD RUNS WILL HAPPEN! It may be hard to believe but they will make you stronger mentally. Just figure out how to push through them, learn from them and then shake them off.

9. Feeling hungry every second of every day.

9 that moment you realize

The runger is REAL.

10. Wasting your spare time reading every single article online about a half marathon.

10 race day advice

Is it good to be prepared? YES. Is it good to spend all of your spare time reading first half marathon horror stories? NO.

11. Experiencing the insanity of a rest day.

11 rest day


12. Surviving your taper.

12 Taper

And finally, not going crazy during your taper. Just stay busy, it’ll be over before you know it!

There’s no doubt about it, the hardest part about running a half marathon is training for a half marathon. But if you trust your training plan and take it one step at a time, you’ll be crossing that finish line before you know it!  Then you’ll get to remember back to today when you thought that running a half marathon was impossible. And you just might find yourself saying, “When can I do that again?!” Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

Read More:
Can A Half Marathon Be Your First Race?
The Real Feeling Of Running Your First Half Marathon

Run Selfie Repeat

Run Selfie Repeat

My name is Kelly Roberts, and I'm the former president of the "I Hate Running Club." No—but really. While struggling to grieve the loss of my brother and maintain a healthy body weight (after losing more than 75 pounds), I thought, "What better way to run from my problems than to actually run from my problems?" Since those painful first runs, I've conquered everything from marathons to 5Ks and haven't looked back. I created my blog,, to inspire others to get active while making them laugh hysterically—because laughing, in my opinion, is the solution to everything. You can find me on Twitter and Instagram (mostly eating cheese burgers, taking selfies with handsome men and terrorizing my sister) @KellyKKRoberts or on my YouTube channel!