Top tips for half marathon training

Posted on: August 16, 2019

Do you consider yourself a running fanatic? Are your feet aching for a challenge? Then maybe you’ve considered taking part in a Half Marathon. For most of us, a hefty 13.1-mile race can require more forethought than simply signing up and running regularly. We recommend that you follow a specific training plan and if necessary make significant lifestyle changes to prepare yourself. Whether you’re in it to win it or just have fun, here is a useful set of tips and tricks for how you should train for a half marathon.

Start your training early!

It’s no use signing up for a half marathon with two weeks to go and hoping for the best. Training will take you several months so plan and give yourself plenty of time. If you’re a beginner, plan to train for 20 weeks before racing. For an intermediate runner, give yourself 16 weeks and for an advanced runner, train for roughly 12 weeks. Also, understand your abilities and limits. You must have built up enough endurance to run a half marathon and for many beginners, this probably isn’t the case. “Running coaches advise being able to run 10–15 miles (16–24 km) a week before you consider training for a half marathon.”

Find fun incentives

If you’re a beginner, it becomes very easy to put off training. So, set the date on your calendar and register for the race. Once you pay the fee and officially register you can prepare for the exciting build-up to race day. Signing up with friends can make training very enjoyable and fun. Also, running for charity and being sponsored by friends and family can spur you on.

Stick to a training plan

Creating a plan helps you to stay on track but also motivates you to achieve your specific goals. You don’t want to overdo it as this can lead to injury, muscle strain or extensive tiredness. Make sure the plan you choose suits your personal needs as you don’t want to launch yourself straight into an intense workout.

Make sure you log all of your training so that you can understand how your session went and how you can improve. There are various online resources you could use such as Runnersworld.com. Also, make sure your plan fits into your daily routine easily and has room for flexibility. This is so that if you miss a day of training, you can shift around your dates and times.

Keep up the good work

Finally, when race day approaches remember to put everything you’ve learnt into practice. Eat healthily with a balanced diet to keep your body in the best shape possible. As you run longer distances, 65% of your total calories should come from complex carbs, approximately 20% from unsaturated fats, and 10% from protein. Don’t eat too much before the race, as this can weigh you down and causes stitches but also remember to rest in the days before the race as to not cause injury.

Don’t worry about having to stop and walk; pacing yourself is key to a great time. Encourage friends or family to cheer you on at the finish line as a little bit of motivation can help you achieve your goals. Staying hydrated is extremely important and can mean the difference between a challenge and an impossible task. However, the most important thing is to enjoy yourself! There’s no greater feeling than crossing the finish line and you’ll have yourself to thank for all your training!

If you’re looking for your next half marathon, why not sign up for the Salisbury Half Marathon taking place on the 29th of September 2019. This super-flat, fast course with a superb atmosphere around some of the great landmarks of the City is perfect for anyone searching for their next challenge.