Six Stages of Racing a Half Marathon

Half Marathon Racing

The night before your first half marathon you may envision standing on the starting line and find yourself wondering what to expect. The past 3 or 4 months of hard work have all built up to what will occur over the course of a few hours, which will be filled with a myriad of emotions.

Miles 1 – 5: Confidence
After the gun goes off and you are on your way, the first five miles will feel easy. You will feel confident. You’ll feel like you can run this pace all day!

Miles 5 – 8: Doubt
Once you reach mile five, you will start to the do the math in your head. Once you realize you aren’t quite halfway done, you may experience doubt as to whether this half marathon thing was a good idea.

Miles 8 – 10: Second Wind
After you get past the midway point of the race, you will get a second wind as the number of miles until the finish line quickly begins to dwindle. Before you know it, you will be at mile 10 and only have a 5k to go!

Miles 10 – 12: Pain
However, once you get to mile 10 your legs will remind you that you still have 5k to go. The next two miles will be the worst of the race.

Miles 12 – 13: Determination
Once you see the 12 mile mark, you will be filled with a determination unlike any other to finish this race as quickly as possible.

Miles 13 – 13.1: Elation
As you realize you only have 0.1 miles to go, you will be filled with an unparalleled joy at your accomplishment. At mile 10 you likely swore you would never run a half marathon again, but once you cross the finish line you will already be planning your next race and where you will hang your medal.

We would love to hear about your half marathon experiences. Please leave your comments below.




  1. Bryce Blanch  April 19, 2016

    My first half was in may of 2012. I was recovering from cancer and what better way to help with recovery than to train for a half marathon. During the race I was full of energy until mile 7. Miles 7 to 9 were tough ,then I got my second wind and when I hit mile 11, I felt tired but knew I would finish. I was telling myself, I will never do this again! Coming down the finishers chute, I gained strength and finished strong, it was the best feeling g in the world.. Although I told myself that I would never do another, I have completed 32 halfs, 3 fulls numerous 5 and 10ks and captained two ragnar teams!!!! I am a running junkie now and it all started from getting cancer.

    • Staci  April 19, 2016

      Thanks for sharing, your story is inspiring to those of us who are entertaining the idea of a half marathon but have no idea if that’s a good idea.

      • Bryce Blanch  April 20, 2016

        Stick with your training and never let negative thoughts into your mind. You will do great!!!


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