If you’re reading this post more than likely you want to learn how to train for a half marathon. Congrats! You have already taken an exciting first step into achieving this goal. Maybe this is your first, second, or third time racing, nonetheless we are here to guide you along this journey.
Recently I began training for a half marathon that I will be running in a few months, so I’d thought I’d walk through the process for anyone else wanting to learn!
Let me just start off by saying that if you’re already running a 3 mile for your long runs, then you are in good shape to begin training. However, if you are not able to currently run 3 miles, then you will have to do some pre-training.
Before you start training you need a good foundation to build upon so you should already be running at least 3 days a week and you should be able to run for 30 minutes without stopping. Aim to make your weekday runs around 30 minutes and your weekend long runs at least 3 miles. From there give yourself about a 15 week time frame for training.
Training: Create a schedule
You should be running 3-4 days a week. On the days that you are not running, incorporate activities such as: strength training, stretching, biking, swimming or participate in a cardio class. The goal is to maintain the cardio, but not to wear your body down by running only.
In addition to running and cardio, it’s important to remember to include at least 1-2 rest days in your schedule. Your body needs to recover so taking those days of rest allows your body to recuperate from one run to the next. Your devoted rest days will be a great time to ice down any soreness. You’ll want to do all of the right things to minimize your chances of injury.
Every week increase your long run by 1 mile until your running up to 13 to 14 miles for your long runs. However, your longest long run should be about two weeks before your half-marathon. Then in the final weeks leading to your race you should taper off to allow your body to recover from training and therefore be strong on race day.
Building mental endurance is crucial. It’s easy to be motivated in the beginning phases but it’s another thing to stay motivated every day… especially after a long day at work. Developing the proper attitude and staying motivated is fundamental to crossing the finish line.
Don’t push yourself too hard
Listen to your body. It has a great way of communicating to us when something is not right. If you’re experiencing a pain that has not subsided after a few days, maybe it’s time to dial down and focus on activities that do not aggravate the ache. It’s also vital that you stay hydrated and feed your body with the proper nutrition during this training process. Do good for your body, and your body does good for you.
Do not try anything new on race day. Stick with what you know and prepare your body for what it needs to complete the race. Put on your headphones and enjoy the run!