For most people running the Half Marathon is not about winning but about crossing the finishing line. If you want to be one of those that will cross the finish line within at least an acceptable time then this brief Training For a Half Marathon guide will do you a lot of good.
Running 13.1 miles (21.1 km) is not something that you should take lightly. If you are not used to running 30 minutes straight then I suggest that you start with smaller distances such as 5km; work your way up to 10km and then 15km. When you are comfortable with running these shorter distances with ease then you can go for the half marathon.
By failing to prepare, you prepare to fail
This saying particularly applies to any athlete. Any athlete that enters into any competition without being thoroughly prepared sets himself up for failure and I hope you don’t become one of those people. Your training starts with choosing the right gear.
The most important gear for your marathon training is without a doubt the shoes. You should make sure you select a comfortable pair that is made for running. This is because when you are running your body exerts 3 times the force it would then when you are normally walking.
So your shoes need to be able to absorb running forces. You can always go to a local sports shop and one of the assistants will help you pick out the right running shoes. You should also get socks that will absorb moisture or keep your feet from getting moist.
For your shorts and t-shirts pick a material that is light and preferably reflective. If it’s a hot and sunny area, shades and a hat/cap are also recommended as part of your gear.
Marathon Training Program
It is a known fact that without pre-set goals and objectives it is hard for any person to stick to anything. You cannot randomly run different distances every day without a purpose. A marathon training program will aid your body in adjusting to different terrains, varying speeds, weather conditions, tiredness, and pain thresholds.
So for those that like to train on the treadmill you are putting yourself at disadvantage. Run different distances each day at a different pace and make sure you get some rest in between. There a number of training programs that I have come across and you just have to choose one that is suitable for you or one that you can easily adapt to.
An example of a training program that I personally follow is shared in this Training For a Half Marathon guide:
|Sunday:||Endurance run (17 miles)|
|Tuesday:||Intermediate training run (5 miles at speed)|
|Wednesday:||Secondary training run (9 miles at marathon speed)|
|Thursday:||Secondary training run (9 miles at medium pace)|
|Saturday:||Combined runs, including run/walk (12miles)|
This is an example of a training program that will prepare you for the varying conditions of the race. Exercise can be made easier by co-training with someone who intends on running the same race that you are training for. The best source of motivation for training is doing it with someone else, better still if you can be with 2 or more people. You can measure your progress against the program and against the others as well.
Diet and Nutrition
Running is one activity that is very physically challenging and requires a lot of fuel. If you are going to be training for something as physically exerting as a half-marathon, then you must consume foods recommended for this activity. Maintaining a healthy nutrition intake is quite different from following a marathon diet. Do check out marathon training diet articles from this site to find out about the kinds of food that you should be focusing on.
Do not overexert yourself during the training. There is no need for you to pick an injury like a torn muscle that will expose itself during the actual race. Just follow this Training For a Half Marathon help article. Do get lots of rest, and lastly do enjoy what you do, I can tell you first-hand running is lots of fun.