1. Running: It Does a Body Good1 of 11
It's no secret that running delivers many health benefits including improved cardiovascular performance and lower blood pressure, and it helps control cholesterol levels. As distance and training commitments increase, so do the physical advantages.
2. You Can Be a World Traveler2 of 11
With so many half marathons all over the world, you won't need another excuse to get out of town. Register for a race in a new-to-you location and tack on a few days to score a bonus vacation. There's nothing better than exploring a new place in running shoes!
3. It's the Goldilocks Distance3 of 11
Training to run 13.1 miles requires the dedication of following a training plan. Not only will you reduce stress by allowing yourself to get lost in a run, but you'll also feel like a running rock star when you get to the finish. The distance is perfect for feeling a sense of accomplishment--not too short and not too long, but just right.
4. You Can Maintain Balance4 of 11
With your longest pre-race run topping out somewhere near 10 miles, training to run a half marathon is the perfect distance for any busy runner. You'll reap the benefits of the exercise-induced endorphins without giving up your entire life to run.
5. You'll Have a Healthy Appetite5 of 11
If you've ever trained for a long distance race, you know the definition of being rungry (extremely hungry due to constant running). The half marathon hits the sweet spot when it comes to influencing appetite. You'll notice an increase in hunger, but won't necessarily feel the need to eat all the food. All. The. Time.
6. Do It for the Bling6 of 11
Over the past decade, race organizers recognized runner desire to score brag-worthy bling. Race medals are now more than memorabilia; they're bona fide works of art. Cross the finish line, collect your swag and display it proudly!
7. Go Long7 of 11
Shorter distance races are all about the speed, but the half marathon challenges a runner's endurance. Sure, speed is still a factor. But running 13.1 miles prolongs the experience, further extending your runner's high!
8. Mix it Up8 of 11
With increased mileage comes more opportunity to training fun. While preparing for a lesser distance limits your workouts to a focus on speed, getting ready to run 13.1 miles allows you to incorporate more variety in your runs. Between hills, tempos and long runs, you'll never get bored in your training.
9. Smile for the Camera9 of 11
Longer distance races tend to draw two energy-boosting things: photographers and spectators! Hearing the roar of the crowd is sure to bring a mid-race smile that will be captured by an on-course photog. Savor the moment of feeling like you've got your own personal paparazzi (aka runnerazzi).
10. Follow the Plan10 of 11
Running 13.1 miles eliminates any opportunity to fake it 'til you make it. This serious distance requires commitment to following a training plan in order to prepare your body for the challenge. Don't sweat it, though. Following through with your intentions by running your plan will up the sense of accomplishment you'll feel at the end. Check out this half marathon training plan for your next race!