Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
Log in
You are here: Home News How to PR at Your Next Half Marathon

How to PR at Your Next Half Marathon

By Megan Harrington,

How to PR at Your Next Half Marathon

You've paid the race registration fees, logged the necessary miles and kept yourself healthy; now all you have to do is PR, right?

Running your fastest half marathon will take some effort, but if you follow these tips, you'll be well on your way to celebrating a shiny new personal best.

Be Honest

First things first: Be honest with yourself.  Did you follow a training plan? Have you completed your scheduled long runs and speed workouts?  If the answer is yes, then you've got a good shot at a PR. 

Running regularly and preparing for the race distance are the best ways to ensure you run your fastest time yet.

Don't Overtrain

As you approach race week, respect the taper.  The days leading up to the race are not the time to squeeze in another long run or speed workout.  The hay is in the barn at this point; don't risk it by tiring yourself out.

Sleep On It

As race day approaches, make sure you're getting a solid eight hours of sleep each night.  This might mean saying no to social activities or having to DVR your favorite late night television show, but you'll appreciate having extra rest in the bank if you happen to toss and turn on race eve.

Rest and Relaxation

The day before the race, try to rest up as much as you can. If you're running a destination race, avoid spending hours on your feet sightseeing.

Visit the race expo (if there is one) on the early side and spend the rest of the day relaxing with your feet up.

The Right Race Fuel

As you plan your pre-race dinner, stick to low-fiber, familiar foods like chicken or salmon with a side of rice.  The last thing you want is to wake-up with stomach woes - or worse: spend time in a porta potty on the course.

Make Things Easy

Before you go to sleep, lay out your race outfit (including socks and shoes), race bib and anything else you plan to use before, during and after the race.  Having everything organized and ready to go will reduce stress and hopefully help you to get a good night's sleep.

Don't Rush

Be sure to set that alarm early.  In fact, set two alarms.  You can't PR if you miss the start of the race.  Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time (probably more than you think) to wake up, drink coffee, eat breakfast and use the bathroom.

Having time to compete your morning routine will ensure you make it to the starting line well fueled and ready to run.

Take Your Mark

Once you arrive at the race staging area, don't delay in finding your corral.  Some large races close the corrals 10, 15, or even 30 minutes before the gun goes off.  If you get closed out of your corral, you'll have to start at the back.  Weaving your way around slower runners and walkers will cost you time and hurt your chances for a fast time.

Start Out Slow(er)

After the gun goes off, calm your heart rate, steady your breathing and consciously reign yourself in for the first few miles; this is the time to be a little behind pace.

In fact, the first four to six miles of a half marathon shouldn't feel too difficult.  You want to hold back now so that you'll have energy to finish strong.

Do What You Know

Stick to the fueling strategy you used during your training ( you did practice fueling, right?).

If the race provides sports drinks and gels on the course, do some research to find out what brand(s) they will have.  Make sure you try out that brand on a training run to ensure that it will agree with you.

If the race is offering something you know will upset your stomach, carry your own in a fuel belt.

When to Speed Up

During the second half of the race, keep your mental game strong and try to pick up the pace.

This is when you'll likely experience discomfort, so have some strategies to help you push through the pain.  For some people, it might mean repeating a motivational mantra.  For others, it's a high-energy playlist.

Time For Your PR

As you enter the final stretch, now's the time to go all out and really gun for that PR.  Hold off on the all-out sprint until you have about two blocks or 200 meters to go; any earlier than that and you'll run out of steam.

As you cross the finish line, make sure to smile extra wide.  You just ran a half marathon PR.





2017 Members

Dave, Alexa, Nadia Alden
Michelle Andrew
Miguel Arellano
Adam & Becky Arensdofr
Tom & Joleen Arnhold
Mike BakerNatasha Bangel
Stacie Baquero
Virginia Barnes
John & Lila Bartel
Katie Baylie
Ivan, Zach, Brianna Beach
Matt Benaka
Megan Bergquist
John & Lettitia Bernard
George Bernheimer
Bre Berroth
Lana & Bob Best
Lynette Biehler
Holly Blick
Ben Bradshaw
Kevin Brown
Anthony Bryan
Steven Buckley
Brian, Amanda, Tyler Budden
Nick Buek
Jacob Bull
David Burgoon
Suzanne Burris
Michelle Carson
Rudy Chavez
Debra Christian
Nick Clair
Brad & Pam Clark
Scott & Rebecca Cole
Andrew Connery
Scott Cook
Chris Cozadd
Cassie Criger
Christine Cunningham
Reagan Cussimanio
Mandy Davis
De La Pena-Goldsmith, Lizette
Kathleen Deeter
Rick Deibert
Heiko Detlefsen
Joshua Devlin
Sarah & Daniel Dodson
Robert Downing
Mary Anne & Jared Durall
Tom Eck
Jonathan Edralin
Jim & Ethel Edwards
Patrick Eldringhoff
Joseph Eldringhoff
Mark Elliott
Michael Erwin
Taylor Evans
Larry Everly
Neal & Karen Farron
Heather Fay
Dana Ferrell
Vince & Leanne Finney
Mark Fisher
Jim & Susan Fitzgerald/Botkin
Lloyd, Lisa & Rebecca Fleming/Johnston
Casey Ford
Alisha Francis
Todd & Brandi Gaddis
Jack Galan
J.C. Garcia
Mimi Gardner
Shaun Gardner
Marty & Julie Garren
Jane and Russell Greene
Garry Gribbles - Tom Truhsdale
Garry Gribbles - Steve Sell
Garry Gribbles - Mckensie Bevins
Garry Gribbles - Cassie
Garry Gribbles - Monica Schragg
Garry Gribbles - Joe Schragg
Greg Gaul
Larry & Elaine Gill
Angie Gleason
Artie Gonzales
Dreher Goodrich
Justin & Leslie Gordon
Kelley Gorman
Lindsay Gress
James & Linda Griffin
Cathy Grisham
Rocco (Edmund) Gutierrez
Cheryl Haefele
Ryan Haefke
Ryan Hahn
Roger Hambold
Richard Harmon
Micah and Meagan Hawkinson
Irene Haws
Kristen Hearrell
Marcia Henderson
Kiley Hickock
Misty Hight
Denis Hill
Scott Hirschi
Laura Hoerman
Ralph & Kay Howard
Dale Hubbell
Chelsey Huddleston
Karla Huffman
Al Hunt
Sarah Hunter
Jeff Huss
Patty Hylton
Doug & Dorthy IIiff
Steve Ingersoll
Matthew Ishkanian
Dan & Tracie Inman
Michael Jamison
Mark, Jody, Sterling, Chase Johnson
Bo Jones
Lezlee, David Kylie, Allie Jones
Tracy, Peter, Morgan, Tyler Jones
Alicia Julian
Andrew & Rachel Kapp
Kim Keen
Larry Kietzman
Jamie Kim
Karin Kingsley
Ashley Koch
Kevin Kulm
Daniel Kurtz
Dan Lara
Clay Lang
Dennis Lawlor
Myron & Tandy Leinwetter
Tom, Karen & Ava Lemon
Jan W Leuenberger
Jason, Glenn & Glenn Lewis
Rebaecca Litvak
Laura Liggatt
Phillip Livingston and Eun Jin Kim
Jaclyn Long
Cassie Madden
Jamie Mauer
Robert, Glenda Michaela McCanliss
Jill McCartney
Dan McCollum
Steve McGaughey
Nancy McKenzie
Candi Meerpohl
Elijah Mendez
Abby Moore
Richard Morgan
Lisa Mortiz
Heather Morrison
Justin & Vanessa Moss (Steinroetter)
Hunter Munns
Tracie Neill
Dave Newbery
LeTiffany Obozele
Tim & Meredith Owen
Thomas Ortiz
Dwight Parman
Rachel, Dave, James, Matthew Peck
Nancy Perth
Greg, Kelly, Shelby, Quinn, Carley Pert
Tamara Peterson (Miller)
Abi Phelps
Claire Phillips
Shane Plemons
Gary Pratt
Jim & Jan Price
Tony Rake
Jory Reedy
The Regnier Family
Brad & Marla Rhoden
Bethany Richardson
Brent, Luke, Isaiah, Rebekah, Gabe Roper
Angela Roberson
Lesa Roberts and Rick Beattie
Michael Robins
Ashley Robinson-Evans
Maria Rodriguez
Margie Rogers
Vickie Rogers and Dan Rethman
Donna Romans
Yana Ross
Brent, Luke, Isaiah, Rebekah, Gabe Roper
Kjrsten Ruch
Elena Rusche
Sean Rutter
Andy Sample
David Sanchez
Suzanne Sawyer-Burris
Tanya Scott
Jacob & Sheena Schmidtlein
Tim Schmitz
Peg Schultz
Spencer Share
Bobbi Shinn
Debbie Simecka
Monica Smith
Eric & Vicki Smith
Rashawn Smith
Robert, Nici, Angelica Soria
Doug & Kathy Stacken
Lon Stanton
Charles & Christine Steinkuehler
Scott Steward
Ken Stone
Ronald & Linda Strader
Iradj Stroble
Liatris Studer
Vossler and Lynette Stueve
Steve Stumbaugh
Thad Sullivan
Michelle Terry
Kristen Thiessen
Barb, Leigha, Ron Thomas
Josh & Jacquelyn Thompson
Ken/Jan Tillery/Escola
Tammy Tipton
Bill & Reagan Tofflemire
Kelly Tosh
Kermit Trout
Scott Umsheide
Roger Underwood
Sarah Vincent
Vicki Vossler & Lynette Steuve
James Wabaunsee
Bill, Brenda, Emily, Billy, Abby, and Sophie Wagemaker
Joe Wagenblast
Paul, Tracy & Marissa Wagner
Vicky Walters
Jarod Waltner
TaNiqua Ward
Deanna Warner
Israel Wasserstein
Joshua and Skyler Watson
Les Watson
Monte Weathers
Jane Weiler
Frank Weinhold
Norma Weiser
Bob & Sharon Wenger
Becky Wessel
Kathi West and Sue Hamlin
Rosemary, Les, Rosalie Wilkerson
Don, Kim Erin Wilson
Jackie Williams
Tim Willingham
Sara Wood
Nick Xidis
Bryan Yowell
Jason & Katie Yuhasz

« March 2021 »