Training for a half marathon can be a daunting undertaking for even the most seasoned runners, and having a plan is crucial for succeeding come race day. There are a variety of resources available on the internet for those who need help with their training process or need inspiration for their training plans.
If this is the first time you are training for a half-marathon or if you’re looking for some additional advice to help you through your training, we have compiled a list of seven tips to help you tackle that 13.1-mile race:
Figure Out Your Why: Running 13.1 miles is no easy feat, and if you know why you decided to conquer this challenge, it will make the long runs, intense training sessions, and sore muscles much more worth it.
Find a training partner: Having a partner can not only help keep you company on your longer runs, but they can also be a great source of accountability. Many training programs are 12 to 16 weeks, so having a training partner will help you stay motivated when you're in the middle of your training program.
Have a plan before you start training: Being successful come race day does not happen coincidentally; it comes from weeks of methodical training. By having your entire training program laid out before you start, you will ensure that you are not overtraining and including the proper cross-training activities to help keep you strong and limber come race day.
Work shorter races into your training schedule: Many athletes will attest to the fact that there’s no true substitution for matches or events. Make sure to schedule some prep races, such as 5Ks or 10Ks, to help you prepare for your half-marathon. These races will help you nail down your pre-race routine, find the outfit that you like to race in, the music you want to listen to, how to want to fuel before the race, and many other controllable factors that come into play the day of the race.
Vary your training runs: Training for a half marathon is not as simple as doing long run after long run until you reach 13.1 miles. In order to perform optimally, it’s important to include sprint workouts and hill workouts to help improve your running speed and cardiovascular abilities; these important aspects of running will help make the half marathon easier to conquer.
Build your base, slowly: Many runners sign up for a half marathon to challenge themselves to run further than they thought they ever could. Many individuals training for a half marathon have never run nearly the requirements to complete a half marathon. Because of this, it’s important to build your mileage over time to prevent injuries from occurring.
Study the course: Perhaps one of the most overlooked tips, it’s important to study the race course where your specific half marathon will occur. Take notice of the running surface. Is it pavement, grass, or gravel? Are there significant hills to climb, and if so, at what mile do they occur. Studying the race course will help you train not only physically, but also mentally, so come race day you are as prepared as possible.
These are just a few tips that can help you be effective and efficient in your training, so that come race day you can enjoy the run and bask in the glory of accomplishing such a feat.