You Just Ran Your First Half or Full Marathon… Now What?

This past weekend was a big weekend for half marathons and full marathons around the country. I had a lot of friends who ran over the weekend. Several of them were running their first half or full.

I love it when I see people run their first race. What I love more is when I see them catch the bug for running. It’s an infectious one!!! Not always easy… but it’s fun.

For most of these people, they’ve spent the past few months getting in the better shape than they’ve been in a long time. It takes a lot of time and commitment to train for such a race and the results are awesome.

With all that time and energy spent… All of those miles in the running shoes… Your race is already over and we still have the rest of the summer of good weather and part of the fall.

So now what?

I say… don’t stop here. Keep going! Find another race to run and continue getting your mind and body in better shape than you’ve ever been in.

You don’t have to do another half or full marathon.

Find some smaller races to go run. 10k’s (6 miles) 5k’s (3 miles)… you get the picture.

Or if you are up to it, find another half marathon you can do.

Once you get to where you feel like you can go out and run a race for the fun of it is when running and staying in shape gets eve more fun. At least that’s the way it is for me.

When I ran my first half marathon, I thought I was done. Then a year later I signed up for another. I loved the process but I wish I had keep with a modified… easy version of training to keep my base going.

So if this is you, if you think you might even want to keep going, take this week slow on the legs. Rest a bit and celebrate the race you just finished and next week. Go back out for a short run to get your legs back in it.

Go pick out a few short races locally as smaller goals to hit and find one big race you want to do in the next few months and go after it. Then repeat it all over again.

You will feel great about yourself in the process.

Your life will become more disciplined because of the schedule you set for yourself.

Your mind will become more focused because of the activity you are doing.

And most of all… you will look better and feel better than ever before.

What’s not to like about that?

This is the way my year goes and for this year it looks like this…

This past weekend, Krissy and I ran a 10 mile race. In June I will race in two triathlons, one in July and the bigger one in August… The Boulder Half Ironman.

In September we will run another 10 mile race followed by another half marathon in October.

It sounds like a lot, but if you maintain a decent base, it’s very doable.

And like I always say… If I can do it, you can do it.

How about you? How did you feel after your first race? Did you want to sign up for another one? Why?


The views expressed here are those of a personal nature and do not reflect the corporate view of my employer or anyone else who employee my services.
  • Michael H Smith

    Thanks for the post. I am one of those that ran their first half-marathon last weekend. I met my goal, felt great (would have felt better if it had not been so hot) and am already planning my next half. For the first time I trained with a group which has helped with the accountability and with helping the miles pass. I never thought I would be a runner…but now I have the bug.

    • Spence Smith

      That’s awesome Michael. Congrats!!! running with a group helps a ton. I love group running. If nothing else, the keep you showing up when you might not want to on your own.
      Which half are you going to do next?

      • Michael H Smith

         The Middle Half in M’boro October 13. This Saturday running a little 5K and also time to get back on the bike.  Yeah…and that ‘showing up’ thing helps when your group runs at 5 AM on Tuesday mornings. Nothing like knowing people will be waiting on you.

        • Spence Smith

          Wow!!! That’s early! But well worth it. Good luck on your half my friend!

  • Bethany Bordeaux

    I loved this post Spence!  I ran my first 1/2 on April 28th…so two weeks ago…I ran the Nashville Country Music Rock ‘N’ Roll series 1/2 and it was the most exhilarating thing I’ve ever done!  I didn’t finish super fast…but I finished and I did manage to set some personal “bests” in the process.  I knew though that after all those weeks of long runs and miles I’d need another goal to keep myself going.  So I’m running a 5K on the 19th (Ellie’s Run for Africa) to try to set a PR for the 5K and then I’m doing a sprint length triathalon  also in Downtown Nashville in June to mix it up but keep my training going!  I’m pretty much addicted to my new, healthy lifestyle….and the side effects (I’ve lost 8 pounds and I have lots more energy) are pretty great too!  Miss ya’ll!  Hope you’re well!

  • Blake Selesnew

    Thanks for the words of encouragement, I just completed my first marathon this past weekend and have the Saint Jude’s half planned for the first week of Dec. I didn’t get the time I wanted on my first marathon but I look forward to improving my time for when I do my next one, thanks again.

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