Friday Five – October 24th – Five Reasons to Run a Half Marathon

Did you see the Wall Street Journal’s article this week about half marathons setting record breaking numbers in terms of the number of people running them, especially women?  Not surprisingly, the article highlights popular race series, including runDisney and Rock ‘n’ Roll (which all three of the half marathons that I’ve completed are run by), as part of the explanation for the surge in race registrations.

As I’m working on drafting my 2015 race calendar, there are 16 different half marathons on my list of possible races.  Of course, I won’t be running anywhere close to all of these races, but its amazing to see just how many races I’m considering, and how many of them are half marathons.

So why have I fallen in love with half marathons?

1.  Running a half marathon is a more easily attainable goal if you’re a newer runner

My initial goal when I started running last March was to train for my first half marathon, the Disney World Half Marathon.  Although I ran other races as part of my training for the big race, I was still considered a newer runner when I crossed the finish line of my first half.  In many ways, I still consider myself a newer runner, and don’t feel ready for the challenge of tackling a full marathon.

2.  Its a challenge that offers a sense of fulfillment

Crossing the finish line of my first half marathon! Photo Credit: MarathonFoto

Crossing the finish line of my first half marathon!
Photo Credit: MarathonFoto

Crossing the finish line of my first half marathon is one of the things that I’m most proud of.  I set my mind to something that I thought wasn’t within my reach, and accomplished it.  My medal from the Disney World Half Marathon  means so much to me because of all the hard work, sweat, and at time tears that it took to get myself across the finish line.

wdw half medal

3.  Half marathon training doesn’t require as much time as a full marathon

For each of the three half marathons that I’ve run, I was able to train running only three days a week.  I didn’t feel like my long runs on the weekend took an entire day, and I was left with plenty of time to cross train, weight train, and live the rest of my life.

4.  Its a good reason to take a vacation

Two of my three half marathons have involved travel.  For my first race, it was to Disney World, and for my third it was to Virginia Beach.  Given that I enjoy traveling, I can’t wait to plan other racecations!

5.  The bling!

medals display

The bling is gorgeous, shiny, and a great reminder of all that I’ve accomplished.  Who doesn’t love earning some bling?

QOTD: What is your favorite reason for running half marathons?

As always, thank you to the DC Trifecta Bloggers (Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, Mar from Mar on the Run, and Cynthia from You Signed Up For What?!) for hosting the weekly Friday Five Link Up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well!

DC_linkup

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34 Responses to Friday Five – October 24th – Five Reasons to Run a Half Marathon

  1. jillconyers says:

    The half is my favorite distance! I agree with your reasons. Especially the time it takes to train.

  2. Jennifer says:

    I agree with your reasons (especially the time commitment) and I like being able to indulge a bit eating wise; 5Ks just don’t burn off that yummy cookie 🙂

  3. Half marathons are my favorite! I love the sense of accomplishment no matter how many I’ve run! And the bling is pretty awesome too! 😉

  4. MB says:

    I am running the Zooma Florida half in January and I can’t wait! I am slowly moving my way up from my usual 5K distance and the training has been fun!

  5. Lesley says:

    I’m also partial to my first half bling, the Princess 2012. I thought I’d cry when I crossed the finish line but somehow I held it together.

  6. haleyduke17 says:

    Love the half marathon distance. It’s totally manageable to train for a half marathon without having to commit too much time. And the bling definitely makes it worth it!!!

  7. YES! I enjoy #4, especially. It’s the PERFECT excuse to take a vacation…especially a Disney vacation… 😉 Great post!

  8. Chaitali says:

    Great reasons! As a new runner, a marathon sounds way too intimidating but a half hit that sweet spot of being a challenge but still feeling doable. And there are races to help bridge the distance from the 5k. After doing a 10 miler, it’s only another 5k and doesn’t sound so hard when you put it like that.

  9. not to push the marathon…BUT…you can train for a marathon with three days a week of running. that’s the whole foundation of run less run faster 🙂 i think you should go for it! 🙂

  10. I did see the article and they gave a nice shout out to MRTT. Half races are great-love to do a few each year.

  11. I agree with all of the above!

  12. All my goal races for next year are half marathons too. I love them for the challenge, and I still have a long way to go to improve on them. Though I think because I’m a slower runner, the shorter races have also given me a huge sense of fulfillment when I just almost reached the fast 5K time goal I was trying for (still working on it!), but even greater was probably my only one-mile race, where I ran a time I never imagined I could do and lived to tell about since I thought I was dying during the race!

  13. Amy Lauren says:

    I haven’t raced a half marathon in a long time. My PR is still from 2012, but I’m planning to train and race one next year and am really excited. I think it’s a good distance for a destination race because you aren’t too tired to enjoy the destination afterwards and you might be in a full marathon.

  14. I, too, signed up for a ton of half marathons the year after running my first. In fact, I have 4 half marathons between now and the end of the year after running 4 others earlier! All of your reasons are incredibly true–it’s quite an accomplishment, it really pushes me as a novice/non-competitive runner, and it doesn’t take as much time as training for a full.

    Although, a full marathon is on my radar for November 2015…eek! 🙂

  15. yup, all about the bling and travel! I mentioned in my post I’m glad the marathon is on home turf. I think I’d be freaking out if I were running a marathon somewhere else, at least my first!

  16. Juliana says:

    I love half marathons! Just enough of a challenge and the medals are usually pretty awesome. and I love traveling for runs but lately Ive been running more local races (have a half tomorrow!) and there is something nice about sleeping in your bed before a race. Great list!

  17. Erica G says:

    #3 is a great reason!

  18. Pingback: My Favorite Friday Five Posts | From Dancing to Running

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