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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Half Marathon Training Questions and Answers

There are a number of questions that people often have when they want to run a marathon or thinking of taking up marathon training. Below are some of the half marathon training questions commonly asked questions together with answers, read through them and be better informed.

Training Outside vs. Training on a treadmill(which is better?)

There is very little difference between training outside and training on a treadmill. The main disadvantage of training on a treadmill is that you might get bored.

The other differences are slight and quite minor such as;  wind and air resistance outside, and the fact of propelling your body forward when running as opposed to the ground moving under you when on a treadmill.

I seem to be gaining weight since I started my marathon training; is that normal or should I be worried.

Don’t worry you are not the only one. When you are training you are likely to gain a few pounds due to the body building up fresh muscle and tissue. So whilst in terms of figures your weight will increase, the percentage of fat will definitely decrease.
Another reason for an increase in weight whilst training for a marathon is the body storing energy in the form of glycogen. The stored glycogen is then converted to energy during endurance running or training.

Is it okay to eat before I run

Worried about stomach cramps and side stitches? I’m sure we have all experienced those at one point or another. The best time to eat is between 1 -2 hours before a run. That way you will have enough energy for your training and you won’t be too stuffed to cause cramps and stitches.


Is it necessary for me to run every day

No,  it is not necessary and I would advise against running or training every day. Your body needs time to recover and recuperate. Note that this is one of the most important half marathon training questions.

 Is there a way to avoid “Hitting the wall” during a marathon

The wall’  is that point when your body’s energy and glycogen levels can no longer cope with the pace of running and then you are sometimes forced to  walk. So one way to avoid hitting the wall in addition to eating the right amount of carbs is to run the marathon distance at marathon pace frequently.


This will help your body store up the required energy levels for this distance and also adapt to it.

Is there any way to avoid muscle cramps

Yesthere is; by staying hydrated. Muscle cramps are caused by being dehydrated so taking in lots of fluids particularly water helps a great deal.. You should drink regularly during the actual race too, roughly about 180mls every 20mins of your run. You can also consider taking an energy drink to maintain your electrolyte level balanced during the race as well.

Is it a good idea to use Brand new running shoes for the actual race

It is important to change/replace your running shoes after you have put about 480km in them. Brand new shoes for a race are not recommended, you would much rather  buy new shoes 3 weeks prior to the actual race so that you can put a bit of mileage and get used to running in them.

When carrying out marathon training Do I also need strength training

Some people find that their legs are too tired and exhausted to be able to handle strength training as well. What you can do is try and have your strength training sessions before you run. However as you increase the distance you are running you can spend less time on the strength training.

Why is the longest training run 20 miles and not the actual 26.2 miles that I will run

This is one question that has been and still is the subject of much debate. There is a popular saying that goes; “To be able to run the distance, then you must train the distance”.  Whilst this may sound like logic it is far from being practical.

If you run the full distance during your training period you run the risk of getting injured and you greatly increase the time needed for you to recover and recuperate. The only advantage of running the full race is the mental confidence of knowing you can do it and this is hardly an advantage worth sacrificing for.
What you should know is there are numerous runners who have come before you, trained the 20miles and managed to complete the 26.2 miles comfortably and in an impressive time on race day. 

These are some of the common questions that marathon runners have and I am sure that some of the ones you had, have been answered. In addition to your half marathon training questions I am certain you found the rest quite informative. Feel to free to go through the rest of the site for an in depth discussion of some of the topics above.

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