What I learned running my first half marathon #healthysara | Sara Steele

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I know this is a hair and beauty blog so I will go completely off topic here. But in a way exercise is key to looking after your body, skin and hair so in a way not too much. As I've recently completed my first half marathon I wanted to share what I've learned so bare with me for this one.

Just over a year ago I decided to sign up for my first 5k and who could believe that 1 year later I would be running a half marathon. It's been an amazing journey with both ups and downs and I've decided to share some of the things I've learned on the way. I'm not going to give you lots of expert tips because I will leave those to the experts. I love reading all the tips from runners world.


Believe that you can
I used to be one of those people who said I could never run a 10k and no way a half marathon and here I am today and I've done both. The only thing stopping you is you, so start believing in yourself and you will see amazing things happen.


London is beautiful
I've seen so much of London that I wouldn't have if it wasn't for running. Random streets with the most amazing houses, beautiful parks, sunrise on an early Sunday morning and running by the Thames just takes your breath away.

Start slow
Your training is not a race. Going in too hard is just going to get you injured as your body isn't ready. Don't push yourself too hard. Don't sign up to a marathon but start with a 5k and work yourself up. Set small goals and be proud of everything you achieve however small.

When hurting - stop
I did the mistake of ignoring any pain and just kept going and that kept me off running for weeks. Now if I feel an uncomfortable pain I just stop and within days I'm back. Always listen to your body.

Find what works for you
I don't follow a plan religiously. I have a busy life and I fit in the runs when it works for me. You have to find what works for you or you'll get discouraged and stop.

Warm up and cool down
Every time I'm lazy and not warming up properly before a run I know I will regret it later with an injury so always make time for warm up and stretch after.


Shoes are so important
I was badly advised in regards to my first running shoes so this lead to injuries, but I invested in another pair and got getting better advice and made so such of a difference. Your trainers are the most important equipment so worth to invest in and do your research.

It makes you feel and look amazing
At first you might not notice a big difference but a year in my whole body shape is different. I'm leaner and feel so much stronger. It makes me feel great about myself.

The feeling after a run 
This is the best feeling ever. Feeling complete empty after a long run and being so pleased with your accomplishment before most people even got out of bed. Whenever I don't want to get up I remind myself of the feeling after and it makes it so much easier to lace up my shoes and go.
And not forget all the food you will eat after.

The extra hardcore points when you run in freezing cold rain 
Something I thought I'd never do. It might be hard to convince yourself when you lie in bed to get up and go out in the cold and rain for a run. But it's worth it. Now I love running in the rain and it does make you feel extra hardcore.

Love your foam roller 
Seriously your foam roller will become your best friend. It makes the recovery time a lot speedier. I always use it as part of my stretching.

Massage is the best recovery
I don't understand runners who don't get a regular sports massage. I go once a month and it makes all the difference. Especially after a race.

Don't get hype
It's so easy when a race starts and everyone flies off to run really fast and use up all your energy the first two miles. I know I did in my first 10k race. Pace yourself. I try and single out one or two people

Running is fun
I love running. I enjoy it and it gives me the time I need. I can clear my head and makes me feel positive about the day ahead. I never thought 2 hrs of running would go so quickly, but I'm always surprised that I've been running for so long. I easily forget I'm even running at the moment because I'm so deep in thoughts.
But maybe not everyone will share your enthusiasm.

Music will keep you going
Sometimes I think I've got nothing left and then an amazing tune comes on and I get all this extra energy and all of a sudden I can run for another half hour no problem. I often change up my running list of tunes and sometimes plan one specifically for a race to get me going that extra faster.

Other runners will inspire you
I love running by the Thames and constantly see other runners every few seconds, which inspired me to keep going.
Not mentioning at race time just as the race has started and everyone spreading out and seeing all those people ahead of you and behind you and knowing we are all doing this together. It gets me every time


It's addictive
Before you know it you've signed up to your next race. I know I already have.
Have you got any tips to share or just want to boast about a recent achievement please leave a comment below. I would love to hear it all. 
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