In a hilly race say, "I love hills. My muscles need a break. This flat running is killing me." It will also help if, leading up to a race with more ups than downs, you run the biggest hill in town every other week or so. Or, says Coach Coates, throw hills in the middle of your long run every other week.
Find a buddy (even if you never see her face): A reed of a woman was always a few steps ahead of me. I decided she was good news to follow. Steady, smooth. I was right.
Trust your training: Out of nowhere, I realized, I got this. Follow your plan, trust its ingredients, and you won't fall apart, either. (See our Half-Marathon Training Plans for guidance and tips.)
Grab a GU (with caution): Remember that if you ingest gel, you will need liquids. Be sure to practice taking GUs, and sports drinks or water on training runs before race day.