As a runner, it can be relatively easy to feel unmotivated from time to time, so it’s important always to push your limits further. What could be a better way to motivate yourself than train for and participate in a half-marathon race? If you’re already an experienced runner with a good mileage on your belt, then half-marathon is the perfect way to get your motivation levels high. It may be hard for beginners to just start with half-marathon training routine and I advise you to compete at 5K or 10K race before taking a half-marathon race.
The training for that race is very exhaustive and requires decent running capabilities and discipline levels as you’ll need to devote yourself to 10 or more weeks of training. A half-marathon is a paced race that is 21 kilometers long, so you simply can’t expect to complete it without a proper training routine. In this article, I will go in details about half-marathon training and provide you with applicable workout routine and tips that will help you in completing your first half-marathon race.
What’s the Right Approach to Half-Marathon Training?
Well, many approaches are circulating the internet regarding half-marathon, but are these effective? As you already know, the race is 21 kilometers long and it will take a regular runner around 2 or more hours to complete the race. It’s very challenging race and you must have a right approach if you want to finish it. Also, you can’t just complete few running sessions through the week and expect the results.
You need to have a systematic approach to the training that will last from 10 to 16 weeks of intense training. Also, your rest and diet must be aligned if you want to avoid injuries and get the best results after the initial training. In the following text, I will provide you with all the aspect you need to have covered and simple training routine that will get you ready for your first half-marathon race.
You Should Have a Solid Running Capacity
Before you start to train for half-marathon, be sure that you can at least run at solid pace for 8 kilometers. It will take you decent time to get there and I always advise you to take running races as the steps. You should first aim to complete 5K and 10K race before thinking about half-marathon. There are many reasons for that, but the most crucial one is avoiding injuries. If you just started with running and throw yourself in half-marathon training, there is a high possibility that you’ll face injury.
Once you build a running base and you can complete around 20 kilometers per week, you can start with a half-marathon training. The most standard training routines last for 10 weeks, but if it’s just the first time you’re preparing yourself for half-marathon, take at least 14 weeks of focused preparation. There are many different training programs on the internet you can pick depending on your running capabilities and fitness levels. It’s crucial to be totally honest with yourself and pick the one you’ll be able to commit for the next 10 or more weeks.
The Right Approach to the Training
The systematic approach that aims to quality over quantity is the most important thing when it comes to training for your first half-marathon. Depending on the time you have available for the training, the majority of training routines will require 3 – 4 running sessions and around 20 kilometers per week. It’s important that you imitate the pace of the race as you want to adapt your body to the pace.
If you’re going to have 4 running sessions per week, then focus on 2 sessions to run at the bit slower pace than 5K race. That way, you’ll gradually build the proper pace to complete half-marathon. Also, your body won’t be shocked on the day of the race and you probably won’t experience any injuries if you had the right preparation period. This race requires a right approach from all aspects including the rest, physical training and diet. Rest is one of the most important aspects when it comes to training for the race as it’s relatively easy to get overtrained. You should conceptualize your workout routine to have at least two days of rest during the week to avoid being overtrained.
I recommend you to have 3 running sessions combined with two physical training sessions per week followed with resting period during the weekend. If you can’t organize yourself that way, that’s fine as you can adjust the routine to meet your schedule. Regarding physical training, half-marathon is a very demanding race that requires high fitness levels. You should focus on getting your muscles strong and flexible during the period of preparation. I advise you to include bodyweight training routine and sprinting sessions when you’re not running as it will add to your overall flexibility.
Also, doing Yoga is a great way to avoid injuries as your range of motion and flexibility will improve drastically. A healthy diet is crucial when it comes to progress and rebuilding muscle tissue. You should focus on eating whole food filled with a great source of protein and carbohydrates. Your main source of calories should be carbohydrates followed by proteins and healthy fats. I advise you to have a 45-30-25 ratio of macronutrients for optimal recovery.
Simple Workout Routine That’ll Get You Ready for Half-Marathon
As a runner who’s training for your first half-marathon race, there are many different approaches. The half-marathon is a challenging race and you need to approach the training process seriously.
I advise you to start with the 10-week training program and alternate running pace each week. The first should be run at easy pace, while the next week you should increase the pace. Start with 17 kilometers per week and increase 1 kilometer each week. Dispose running mileage evenly through each running session so that you won’t shock your body too much.
Regarding physical training, start with HIIT training. Your focus should be on your leg muscles but don’t neglect other parts of your body. First training should be only anaerobic, while the second training should have sprints in it to increase your stamina and endurance.
At the beginning of each running session, start with a slow-paced run for 1 kilometer that will serve as a warm-up. After the warm-up, do a light stretching session that lasts up to 10 minutes. After each running and physical session, be sure to have a detailed flexibility work that will last for at least 10 minutes.
Regarding recovery phase, take the weekend off, sleep each night for 8 hours and have a proper ratio of macronutrients in your diet.