Editor’s Note: Happy New Year ladies! We are very excited to work with you and see you moving forward towards your goals! For you ladies who are starting or re-starting a running and/or walking routine, being healthy and happy is a lifestyle, not a quick fix. You’ll see results and feel much better taking small steps every day toward a more active lifestyle.
Here are a few tried-and-true tips on setting and adjusting goals:
· Check with your health care provider before starting a fitness or wellness program.
· Be honest with yourself. Accept yourself as you are and where you are. Ask yourself, “What is my ideal happy, healthy lifestyle?”
· Review the past year and make a new list. What worked? What failed? Why? What can I build on? What should I let go? What were my best and worst decisions? Have some fun with it and use humor; it helps!
· Make time to fully focus on the new goals. You want to get momentum going forward and keep it – building on small improvements and small victories, because they will add up.
· Be flexible. If you want to run a marathon, you have to build a base of miles over time. You can’t just wake up and run 26.2 miles. The same is true for most goals. You have to take responsibility for your life, health and happiness. Change doesn’t always come quickly or easily.
That’s life – there is never a direct path to success. It’s a journey and an adventure. Develop your sense of humor and your improvisation skills! Let’s make it happen!
Beginning Half Marathon (13.1 miles) Training
If you are considering a half marathon – you probably already know that a running workout is a great calorie crusher, mood enhancer and has many other benefits. You don’t have to be a maniac runner to reap all the many benefits! Stepping up to a half marathon is awesome for women, so awesome in fact that nationally women represent about 65% or more of the participants in half marathons around the country! The most important thing is to have fun with it and make it your lifestyle! So, let’s begin!
Before starting a half marathon training program, you should make sure you are healthy enough to undertake the training. The half marathon training should not be taken lightly. Consult your medical professional to ensure you are ready for this important next step! You should be able to run comfortably for at least 30 – 45 minutes before beginning a half marathon 16 week training plan.
Recommended 14 Week Beginner Half Marathon Training Program
** XT is cross training which can include biking, core workouts, upper body workouts, yoga, pilates, stretching, etc.
Tips & Terms
The following is the running terminology used for training – obviously, the more experience you have – the more training options and speed/track workouts you will use for form, technique and conditioning.
This means running totally comfortable and controlled. When running alone or with your runhers training partner or group, you should be able to converse easily. You’ll likely feel as if you could go faster. Don’t. Here’s some incentive to take it easy: You’ll still burn about 100 calories for every mile that you run.
Walking & Taking Breaks
If you feel the need to walk or take a break in your long run or during any of your training runs, by all means do so. Since you are just beginning the half marathon, with finishing as your goal, just listen to what your body is telling you.
Long Runs and/or LSD (Long, Slow Distance)
These are any steady run at or longer than race distance designed to enhance endurance, which enables you to run longer and longer and feel strong doing it. A great long-run tip: Find a weekly training partner around your pace and ability for this one. You’ll have time to chat about anything that comes up.
This means bursts of running shorter than race distance, some at your race goal pace, some faster. This improves cardiac strength, biomechanical efficiency, running economy, and the psychological toughness that racing demands.
Race Day Rules
Run slower than you feel like you should be running over the first 6 – 7 miles. Look around; chat a bit with those around you. And walk if you need to through the aid stations, drink fluids, take a little break, then resume your running.