If you are considering a half marathon – you probably already know that a running workout is a great calorie crusher, mood enhancer, and disease fighter. Stepping up to a half marathon is awesome for women, so awesome in fact that nationally women represent about 60% or more of the participants! The most important thing is to have fun with it, make friends, and incorporate it into 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 45 minutes before beginning a half marathon 12 week training plan.
Beginner Half Marathon Training Program
* Saturday and Sunday “long runs” may be either day – with the other day being a rest or cross training day.
** 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 slowly resume your running.