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4 Tips for Training for Your First Half-marathon

>> Aug 15, 2017



Whether you’re looking for something more challenging after conquering 5K and 10K runs or you’re trying to start with a long race for a cause, proper training is important to ensure that you do not only complete your first marathon, but also that you will be able to walk afterwards. Below are some tips to guide you along:

pixabay.com/en/running-sport-fit-fitness-fun-run-1944798

1.   Build your baseline
Many new runners make the mistake of thinking that training for 12-14 weeks can take you from sedentary to finish line. This isn’t true at all. In fact, all training programs ranging between 10-16 weeks assume that the runner already has a baseline of 15-20 miles weekly mileage under their belt, with the ability to run at least 5 miles straight.

If you have anything under this, you need to start much, much earlier and build your stamina to get to this point before starting a training program. Otherwise, you risk overwhelming your body with overtraining, one of the leading causes of injury.

2.   Pick your plan
Most half marathon training programs are 12 weeks long, but there are longer and shorter ones. Longer ones are preferable because you have a bit of wiggle-room in case of setbacks like injury or illness. In addition, being your first marathon, it gives your body more time to acclimatize to the training demands.

Additionally, the content of training programs varies in terms of running mileage, number of runs and types of cross workouts. Study the content of each plan carefully before choosing one. Consider your work and family schedule and ensure you can comfortably fit in the demands of the plan. You should also consider your fitness level – if the first run is longer than you’re able to, it means that plan is beyond your level. Plans are often leveled beginner, intermediate and advanced for easier sorting.

3.   Quality over quantity
One way to prepare for a half marathon is to run often and long distances, but too much can also increase chances of injury. You can actually be prepared running just four times weekly, with two being baseline maintenance runs, or quantity runs, and two being quality runs such as a long run and a tempo run.

Tempo runs are important for increasing your body muscle’s ability to utilize oxygen and extend your lactate threshold (responsible for the burning sensation your legs get during runs), making your more efficient as a runner and helping you to fight fatigue. There are various tempo runs depending on the training program that you choose.

Long runs are just that: long. They are run at a pace slightly slower than race pace (tempo run pace) and they help with building endurance. The goal here is not to run faster, but rather to save something in the tank to raise speed at the last leg – important for racing to win.

Maintenance runs are supposed to be short runs, about 4-5 miles long. They basically help you maintain your baseline and keep your muscles and joint limber in between the rest of the workouts. These can be run at a slower pace than both of the above runs.

4.   Cross training is important
Most training plans will have you doing 12-13 miles by the end, and that’s sufficient to get you through a half-marathon without dying. You will also need some aerobic training and light resistance training on non-running days to optimize all-body fitness. You can cycle, swim or use the row or elliptical machine to cross-train. Resistance training will help you build your upper body and core and can increase your stamina.

Conclusion
There are many other tips that can help you prepare for a half-marathon. For instance, training as a group can make it easier on you than training alone. Be sure to put your all into training to ensure you finish your first half-marathon. When you’re through, celebrate your accomplishment by getting yourself halfmarathon jewelry to commemorate this milestone.

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Welcome to my blog. I'm a home maker, a stay at home wife. I'm just an ordinary woman who has interest in reading, working at home and learning to write. We live in Bogor, Indonesia.
This blog contains articles in family topic.
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