Best Training Program for a Half Marathon
Running a half marathon is a good idea for a runner who is looking to train for their first marathon or who wants to finish a distance that requires less hours committed to training. While running a half marathon is difficult, it certainly doesn’t take the time commitment that training for a marathon requires. Most of the time, a training program for a half marathon is designed for someone who is already running at least fifteen miles per week.
If you are not already running fifteen miles per week, you should consider starting your training program for a half marathon four to six weeks earlier than someone already running that distance. Here are some of the best tips ever writen for you to get ready for race day: Jeff Galloway Half Marathon Training – You Can Do It!
Set Goal For Half Marathon Training Program
Before you start your training program for a half marathon, it’s a good idea to set a goal. Setting a goal is as simple as just finishing the event. Or you can place a reasonable time goal if you are already racing regularly. A popular speed workout for marathon and half marathon runners working toward a specific time goal are Yasso 800s. Named after Bart Yasso, a writer for Runner’s World magazine, Yasso 800s involve running 800 meter repeats at the minute:second equivalent of your hour:minute goal marathon time. Based on this, if you want to run a 4:30 marathon, you should be running your 800m repeats in four and a half minutes. In the training program for a half marathon, adding a few 800m intervals at a goal marathon pace are a good way to work on your speed.
12 Weeks Training Program for a Half Marathon
You should allow twelve to thirteen weeks for a good training program for a half marathon. This will give your body time to properly establish a base foundation of training, a build up of endurance, and plenty of time to rest and recover to avoid injury. You should aim to run three to five times per week and incorporate cross-training, or “active rest,” into your training program.
Over the course of the training program for half marathon, your distance will gradually increase from around three miles to up to twelve. The key to increasing your mileage is to not add more than two miles to your longest training run each week. Take your time and make sure you rest between long runs. Typically, your long run will be done every seven to ten days.
Rest Between Your Half Marathon Trainings
The importance of rest cannot be emphasized enough. There are two types of rest that you should incorporate in your training program: cross-training, also called “active rest,” and complete rest. In both cases rest means not running. By including rest, especially after your speed work and long runs, both your body and mind will have a chance to rebuild and refresh to avoid burnout and injury.
Training With Friend for a Half Marathon
Another great way to train for a half marathon is to find a running partner or join a local running club. Jeff Galloway, who invented the “Galloway Method” of running, emphasizes the importance of running with a group for beginners. One of the benefits of running with a group is making new friends with similar fitness goals and the other benefit is that your new habit will be easier to keep with the social reinforcement of a group.
Once you’ve started your training plan for a half marathon, it’s a good idea to track your progress with a training log or diary. Some websites offer free or fee-based programs to enter in your daily workouts. Another way is to set up a spreadsheet on your computer with formulas to track your total miles run. One other way is to keep a paper journal.
Whichever option your choose to track your training program for half marathon, it is important to include the miles run, how you felt on an effort scale of one to ten, the weather and temperature, what you ate before, during, and after the run, and how much water you drank while running. The more data you keep during your training and your race, the easier it will be for you to find patterns to create a successful training program for your next half marathon. Similarly, you will be able to see possible reasons for an injury or a not so successful long run so that you can alter your next program to avoid another mishap.
Half Marathon Training Conclusion
There is both an art and a science to training programs for a half marathon. As you go through your training program, take the time to find balance between training and rest and to enjoy the social connectivity that the sport offers. If there is a local race in your town or city, sign up to be a volunteer to encourage other runners and to give back to running. It may take several races, but eventually you will find that through experimentation and enjoying the journey, you can create the best training program for a half marathon.