Half Marathon Training & Train for a Half Marathons
Before embarking on a half marathon training program you should have at least three months training under your belt – jumping to distance running soon after starting running is likely to lead to injury, as your muscles and supporting structures (tendons, ligaments etc) need time to adapt to the strains of running.
Effective half marathon training typically takes around three months for someone with a solid running base – during this time you are working on increasing your distance, so that you can finish comfortably, and increasing your speed. While you can obviously take your time and do the race as slowly as you like, most people get satisfaction from finishing within a target time – plus, of course, the pain ends that much quicker!
The key run each week in any half marathon training plan is the long run. Over the course of the twelve weeks you will typically increase your weekly long run from around five of six miles to a maximum of twelve miles a couple of weeks before the race.
In addition to the weekly long run, you will also need to do workouts that help you to run faster. These can include hill runs, Fartlek sessions, speed work, and tempo runs. Each of these helps to build your aerobic and anaerobic levels so that you can sustain a good pace for the duration of the race.
Finally, you need to build some rest and recovery into your training. Even the very best athletes ensure that they have at least one day per week where they don’t run – for less experienced athletes, you will find that two or even three days off per week will benefit you more than trying to cram extra runs in. With the right program you’ll be ready to enjoy your race, rather than simply suffer through it!