Your Mile-by-Mile Half Marathon Survival Guide

Mile Nine

Stay in the box: To keep my form together, I imagine that I'm running inside a large rectangular box. I can't take too long a stride or swing too wild an arm, or I'll slam right into my imaginary cage.

My stride stays short and quick and my arms don't swing too much, and I hopefully look better than I feel.

Your Guide to Proper Running Form

Mile 10

Tune out agony: You may hear fellow racers gasping in despair on late-race hills. Tune these people out and remind yourself how much you love hills.

Mile 11

Remember, you have breathed this hard before: You may not be able to hear the bells or the vuvuzelas anymore because your lungs are trying to explode from your mouth, but don't be alarmed. Speedwork has prepared you for this phenomenon.

More: 4 Temp Run Workouts to Tune Up Your Training

Mile 12

Believe: You must believe you can hold your fastest-possible pace over that final 1.1 miles. Even when you think you might hurl and collapse all at the same time, you must believe you will cross that finish line without slowing for even a second. And you will. Because you started slow.

More: 3 Tips to Build Mental Toughness

Finish Fast

Because you practiced fast-finish runs in training (starting 15 seconds per mile slower than goal pace, and finishing five seconds per mile faster) you can finish strong.

You're done! Everyone who crosses the line is a winner. Celebrate!

More: How to Recover After a Half Marathon

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