A half marathon is something that puts runners into a more elite category. Most people think about running five miles as a challenge, for seasoned runners, a half marathon is something that is a bit more than what they are used to. Whether you are new to running, or new to the marathon circuit, a half marathon is an excellent endurance run goal. Depending on what your normal routine is, planning for a half marathon involves extending your runs and weight training as well as conditioning.
The goal is to finish unscathed and uninjured
The key to running a half marathon is to get to the finish line unscathed and uninjured. The best way to ensure that is to do lots of conditioning and strength training. Running and acquiring miles to practice is obviously going to be part of the goal, but incorporating strength and functional training is an excellent way to stay healthy and to stay off of the injured list.
If you are ready to make the commitment to run a half marathon, it is a good idea to enlist help. That comes in two forms. You are going to need the support of those around you to encourage you to keep pushing yourself further, and you are likely going to need a trainer who can show you the best conditioning exercises to get you ready for the big day. Increasing miles on a weekly basis, you should be ready to try your hand after about two months of adequate training.
The training is as challenging as the race
Just remember to be patient with yourself. Recognize that training is part of the challenge with the race being only part of the accomplishment. Getting to the finish line is an amazing feat, making the commitment, following through, and enjoying getting there, are all part of the process too. If something should set you off track, don’t get discouraged, there is always another half marathon to try around the bend.
Are You Ready To Take The Half Marathon Plunge?
If you are considering running a half marathon but haven’t formally trained for it, you may be asking if you can just run it cold. The answer is both yes and no. A half marathon is a grueling 13.1 miles. Only half of a marathon, though, it may not be as big of a commitment as you think. In general, if you can make it nine miles you can go the additional four.
Since most people who run a marathon build up to the 26-mile mark, they don’t actually run a full marathon during training. They get to a point where the additional miles needed are within reason. That is why, feasibly, if you are a conditioned runner, and you can easily complete up to nine miles cold, there is no reason with the adrenaline, drive, and desire you can’t go the extra couple of miles to do a half marathon.
From zero to 26
If the question is, "Can I right out the gate run a half marathon?" if you are not an endurance runner, or you are a novice, then you should probably try training formally to run a half marathon. Many factors determine when you are ready to run 13 or more miles. The last thing that you want to do is go all out and end up injured. Generally, we think of injury as a week or two off, but for injuries that can come with running excessive miles without training, you can do some lasting damage.
If you are asking if you are ready, think long and hard about whether it may be in your best interest to hold back and train for a month or two. A little weight training and conditioning can go a long way. It isn’t so much about getting to the finish line; it is as said about getting there uninjured and safely.
Half Marathon Training For Beginners
Congratulations if you have made the decision to do something really amazing and something few will ever accomplish. A half marathon is a very challenging feat even for advanced runners. If you are a beginner, there are some things that you should consider before setting a course to train for your first race.
A half marathon is a great goal to shoot for. Sometimes a stepping stone for a full marathon, sometimes just to say that you could do it, a half marathon will put you in an elite category of athletes. The key to training is to be realistic and not to get too obsessed. Also, it is crucial that you not take things too seriously, or push yourself beyond your limit. After all, the key is to compete in a half marathon, not to end up on the injured list.
Select the right race
If you are training, it is best to choose three potential half marathons to run, at various times of the year. If you limit the race day to strict deadlines, you may be working against yourself. There are likely many half marathons to choose from, setting realistic goals by giving yourself more than one goal date, may help to keep you positive and not to become too overwhelmed.
Get a supporting pal or a PT
You wouldn’t hop into a soccer game and just start running the field, running is a sport just like soccer. If you want to train, and you are a beginner, you should consider hiring someone to help you along. A good training goal is to combine mileage with strength training. If you get a good balance of the two it will keep you strong and injury free. Hire someone who specializes in training, at least, to help you in the beginning, it will be well worth it instead of going it blindly.
There are also lots of great mobile applications to use; Strava, RunKeeper, Endomondo to mention a few.
Lastly, make sure to enlist the support of your friends and family. A time-consuming goal, having loved ones who will provide you encouragement and help to keep your spirits high when they are likely to start to sink, is the best way to reach your goal of running a half-marathon. Greece wasn’t built in a day; neither was the marathon that was run around the in Athens. Give yourself some patience, be kind and listen to what your body is telling you. It is almost always right.