Many of us set big goals for ourselves at the beginning of the year, like running a half marathon. Two years ago I set a goal for myself to run my very first half marathon & with a lot of hard work I did it. I then ran several other races, a second half marathon & this past November I ran my first marathon. All this to say that where there is a will, there is a way. If you want to run a half marathon this year I’m here to tell you you can do it! All you need is running shoes, motivation & a training plan…
I just committed to run the Iron Girl Half Marathon in April & put together a training plan for myself. Since I injured my knee during the marathon I haven’t been running consistently or for long distances, focusing on healing. My knee feels back to normal now so I’m confident I can start training & be prepared for the race. Are you running a half marathon this year & don’t know where to start? I’ve got you covered. There’s an array of training plans to follow but my favorites by far are Hal Higdon’s. If you’ve never trained for a half marathon before Hal Higdon’s training program is a great way to start. This is the program I followed when I trained for the Disney Princess Half Marathon (my first one) & I felt ready for the race.
Now that I’ve ran a few races I tailor the programs for me & have picked up some rules of thumb that come in handy. Here are good guidelines to follow when selecting or creating a half marathon training program:
- Give yourself 10 – 12 weeks to train. Especially if you’re new to running (if you are,read this post for running essentials). 10 – 12 weeks gives you enough time to build endurance, get into the habit of running & make your legs stronger. Make sure to pick a race with plenty of time to train before you run it.
- Pick the right race. Check out the course before you sign up for the race. Selecting the right race is a huge part of the experience, you want to enjoy the course you run & train accordingly. Kelly from Foodie Fresh has a great post about picking the right race, check it out here.
- Run 3 – 4 times a week. You should do 2 – 3 short runs & one long run. Focus on completing your runs feeling well — start off slow & work your way up. Do not burn yourself out by pushing to hard at the beginning, slow & steady wins the race. Check out this post for different speeds/runs to try to mix up your runs.
- Increase your long run mileage by 10%. Don’t jump from say 5 miles to 10 miles on your long run, that’s a recipe for injury. 10% increase every weekend on your long runs is a steady increase that will help your body adapt to long distance running & keep you from hurting yourself.
- Cross training is your friend. On the days you’re not running make sure you cross train, it really helps! You can go to spinning, pole dancing (yes, it counts!), zumba, kickboxing…there are a lot of options for cross training. Not only is cross training great while you run but it’ll be a nice break from running & keep you motivated for the next run.
Are you ready to run? If you’re running a race soon leave it in the comments, it’s always good to tell those around you, keeps you accountable. Keep me accountable as well okay? It’s time to train!