How do I train for a half marathon? (2023)

VonBrian Eastwood


Understand the fundamentals of running, plan and prepare for your run.

How do I train for a half marathon? (1)

Knowing how to train for a half marathon is an important goal for many runners, whether they are new to the distance or want to set their personal best at 21.1 km. Trying to train for a half marathon can seem overwhelming, but with a training plan, a personal plan and a positive attitude, you'll be ready for race day.

This guide covers the basics of training for a half marathon, from finding the right training plan and preparing to run five days a week to knowing what to do in the days leading up to the race, especially if it's a race.trote de peruFor example. While this guide is not a substitute for a program developed by a certified trainer, it will help you know what to expect when you reach your half marathon goal.

Half Marathon Training: Getting Started

As excited as you are to jump right into half marathon training, there are a few key things you need to do first.

Buy good running shoes (and socks).I ran my first 5K cross-country in high school in high-top basketball shoes. It didn't go well. If you plan on running a half marathon, you need an upgrade. Since everyone's feet and running style are different, it's worth taking the time to visit a running store to try on several different pairs and get expert recommendations. As a general rule of thumb, running shoes last about 500 miles. So unless you plan on exceeding 40 miles a week in training, a single pair of shoes should do the trick. (But having a backup pair certainly doesn't hurt.)

If you want to do some research before you buy, take a look at ourbest running shoes, just like himbest women's running shoes, ANDThe best trail shoes, it's atThe best carbon fiber running shoesto use on race day.

Other things to consider when shopping are the Glide, which helps prevent chafing between the thighs, as well as a running top, shorts, and bra (we handpicked them).best sports brasHere). Not only are they lighter than regular T-shirts and shorts, but they also wick away sweat.

How do I train for a half marathon? (2)

Build a hiking base.The typical half-marathon training program for beginners starts with a weekly five-mile run. If you've never covered that much distance in a single workout, you might want to give yourself a few weeks to get to five miles. Take it slow to avoid injury: Add half a mile to your longest run of the week until you hit the five-mile mark and start the first week of your training plan.

Set a realistic goal for yourself.For your first half marathon, just finishing is a worthwhile goal. When you're more motivated by a time goal, it's important to set a realistic goal. using aweather forecast(opens in new tab)Considering your time on a previous 5 or 10K run and your estimated weekly mileage, it's a good starting point.

Find an exercise program.There is no shortage of programs designed to help you run a half marathon.Garmin-Trainer(opens in new tab)Half marathon training plans are available to anyone with the latest fenix, precursor or vivoactive watch. The program helps you set a running goal and create a training program around that goal, based on the training data Garmin collects as you train with your watch.

If you don't have onebest garmin watches(or any other sports watch with training programs) several apps offer half marathon training programs includingNike club(opens in new tab),sapatos asics(opens in new tab), jUnder Armour MayMyRun(opens in new tab). All three apps are also available for theApfeluhr, while Runkeeper and MayMyRun are certainly availablesamsung galaxy watches. Many races also post basic training schedules on their websites; an example is theBoston Athletic Association(opens in new tab)The 12-week BAA Half program. Local running clubs often offer exercise programs as part of their membership and some virtual workouts.

Finally, there is always the option of working with a career coach who will develop a personalized plan based on your goals, timeline and other factors. I started working with a trainer in 2015 so I could safely recover from injury and have found that approach works best for me.

Whatever type of program you choose, make sure it has been approved by acertified career coach(opens in new tab)Who knows the structure of running training and how it affects your body.

Half Marathon Training: The Basics

Half marathon training programs vary greatly depending on race goals, fitness level and experience. A beginner's plan cannot exceed 30 miles per week, while a plan for experienced runners looking to reach their personal best can exceed 50 miles per week. My plans are typically 35+ miles a week.

How do I train for a half marathon? (3)

You should plan ahead: typical training programs last 10-12 weeks, though they can be longer (if you need to build up to a five-mile baseline) or shorter (if you're already doing this consistently). , depending on your experience. weekly long runs in the 8-10 mile range).

However, there are some characteristics that all training programs have in common.

  • Four or five running days a week.
  • One to two days of cross-training, which may include a combination of walking, yoga, conditioning stretches, and/or core or leg exercises.
  • One or two days of rest without specific exercises. Most plans include a day off after a long trip.
  • A speed workout consisting of sprint intervals followed by a recovery period or a hill climb workout consisting of sprints up hills.
  • Two to three days of easy walking at a pace comfortable enough for conversation.
  • A weekly long run, increasing to 10-11 miles as the training program progresses, also done at an easy pace. Given the amount of time required, most runners complete these workouts in one weekend day.
  • Two to three weeks of tapering before race day to allow your body to recover from the most strenuous workouts.

One of the most important keys to training for a half marathon is not to overdo it. Running too fast, too long or too often are common causes of injury, especially as we age. (That's why Training Load is a key feature of Garmon Coach; it's designed to help athletes know how long it takes to recover from important workouts and when they might be "overwhelmed" by running too hard.) Don't worry with the rhythm. unless a speed workout requires pace goals, such as: For example, completing 400-meter intervals in two minutes. Focus on meeting distance or time goals for easy runs and long runs.

The other important factor is making time to run. Some runners train at the same time each day, especially when work and family schedules are hectic. Other runners prefer the flexibility of being able to train at different times of the day. It may take some time to figure out what works best for your schedule or if you do better in the morning, afternoon or evening.

Half Marathon Training: More Than Running

Running is obviously an important part of half marathon training, but there are some other considerations as you move forward with your training plan.

When in doubt, stay calm and don't feel guilty.One of the most important lessons I've learned in over 25 years of running is to take rest seriously. When my legs are tired, I feel a cold coming on, or I've just had a bad day, I skip a run. When I feel like it, I replace it with stretches or leg exercises; if not, rest. This helps prevent burnout and ensures you're in the best physical and mental shape to make the most of your most important workouts.

Eat like common sense.If this is your first half marathon, you'll likely feel hungry as your workout progresses, simply because more exercise means you burn more calories. It's important to replace the extra calories you're burning with healthy forms: lean protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and electrolytes from food or drink.

How do I train for a half marathon? (4)

Test your water and fuel needs during your runs.There are dozens of mid-run fuels on the market (gels, mints, gummies, etc.) that can help restore your energy reserves if you deplete them during an extended workout. Try them out on your weekly long runs to see how your body (and GI system) responds; That way you avoid unpleasant surprises on race day. Do the same with water - it will take time to balance the right amount of water and excess water, which will simply overflow into your stomach and make you uncomfortable.

Half Marathon Training: Preparing for Race Day

In the days leading up to your half marathon, there are a few steps that can help you run successfully.

To relax.It's okay if you don't get much sleep the night before the race, either because of nervousness or an early start. Try to get a good night's sleep the night before the race, eg. B. Friday night for a Sunday run.

Gradual carbohydrate loading.A big dinner the night before the race is overkill. Space out the carb-based meals from Saturday morning and mix in some lean protein as well. Avoid anything that might upset your stomach. Years ago, I swapped red sauce noodles for Asian noodles to reduce my acidity.

Plan your not useanyNew clothes while running, as you never know where they might literally brush you the wrong way. This includes shoes: they need to be broken in. Consider layering, as you'll be hot as your run progresses (especially once the sun starts to shine) and you don't want to overheat (on a hot day) or break a sweat. and to freeze (on a cold day).

Plan your fuel strategy.Figure out when (if at all) you want to use your fuel based on how your long weekly commutes went. Most products recommend taking it with water. For in-person races, this usually means bringing fuel close to a water well, although in a virtual race you have a lot more flexibility if you bring your own water.

Have a light breakfast.As with clothes, eat something you're used to. I opt for peanut butter toast, my signature breakfast. Avoid anything that leads to a last-minute trip to the bathroom. Also, avoid anything greasy or heavy, save it for after your run.

Have a good time!You've worked hard to get to this point. enjoy the run Focus on your goal, but don't let it affect you, especially when the weather is bad or you're not feeling well.

Half Marathon Training: Recovery and Next Steps

You did it! Celebrate with your favorite food and drink, put your feet up, maybe take a nap and stop running for a few days. Enjoy the silence, do stretches or yoga and think about the next steps.

You finished? There is absolutely no shame in running a half marathon and then deciding you don't need a second one. Finishing 13.1 miles is a rare achievement: About two million Americans complete a half marathon each year.Laut Running USA(opens in new tab)- and you can certainly be proud. However, it is important to take some time to make a decision. You might say "never again" seconds after leaving, only to change your mind a few days later.

Want to run another half marathon? If so, allow at least a few weeks between races. This gives your body time to recover and get back to working out. And while you can certainly run faster in your next race, set realistic expectations. My shortest break was four weeks between half marathons, and I made sure to slow the second run down by a few minutes.

Want to take it to the next level? A full marathon lasts twice as long as a half marathon, but the training is twice as hard. Workouts are harder to plan, and rest and cross-training are becoming more important to preventing injury. You should also commit to at least 16 weeks of marathon training, and more if it's your first full marathon. Oh, and your appetite will increase even more.

Still, the sense of personal accomplishment crossing the 26.2-mile finish line is hard to beat. check out ourLeitfaden training marathonwhen you're ready to go

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How do I train for a half marathon? (5)

Brian Eastwood

Brian Eastwood is a freelance writer for Tom's Guide, focusing primarily on functional watches and other wearable technology. Brian has been a professional writer and editor since 2003. He has reported for a variety of professional publications on health technology, business technology, higher education and corporate governance. Brian is a Massachusetts native and currently resides outside of Boston. Outside of work, he enjoys running, hiking, skiing and reading a good history book.


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