Learning how to train for a half marathon is a challenging situation. It requires training yourself and your body in a safe way without wearing it out too quickly. As a result, it is critical to understand how you can train for a half marathon as effectively as possible. The following training guidelines have been carefully researched and confirmed with medical professionals and will get you in shape quickly.
1. Choose a Training Start Date
When mastering how to train for a half marathon, you need to start planning before the race. You can’t just walk into a half marathon course the day it begins without training. Likewise, you can’t spend just a week or two training and expect to compete. In fact, you need at least 16 weeks of training to finish a half marathon safely.
So if your marathon begins on May 28, you should start your training in the middle of September. As a result, you must try to pick a half marathon that you know you have time to train for and then get started on your new challenging training routine.
2. Start Running Three Times a Week
Anybody who wants to master how to train for a half marathon needs to be running at least 30 minutes three times a week. You can run more than that if you want, but you should at least hit the magic number of three times a week. You should also have a weekend long run of at least three miles.
Don’t worry if you can’t run the whole 30 minutes or three miles when you start out. Not many people can run that long without training. In fact, it is wise to walk when you feel tired and get back to running as soon as possible. Try to minimize your walking as much as possible, though, to increase your training success.
3. Slowly Increase Your Run Length
Once you feel comfortable running for at least 30 minutes during your weekday runs, you should start increasing your weekend long run every other week. The idea is to slowly increase your distance until you hit 13 to 14 miles. Increasing your range by 1.5 miles every other week is more than enough.
However, you shouldn’t be running 13-14 miles every weekend. Instead, you should alternate these long runs with weekends when you run just three miles. Doing so will minimize your chances of injuring yourself or wearing out your body before your half marathon.
4. Adjusting Your Diet
Not enough runners adjust their diet when mastering how to train for a half marathon. It is important to get 60-70 percent of your calories from carbohydrates, 20-30 percent from fat, and 10-15 percent from protein. This diet will help prepare your body for the demands of the half marathon.
You also need to eat an appropriate amount of calories for your run. Your body will burn roughly 100 calories for every mile that you run. So a full 13-mile run will burn 1,300 calories. As your body burns a minimum of 1,200 calories without exercise, you need to eat at least 2,500 or more calories during these days to succeed.
5. Don’t Overtrain Yourself
People who are trying to master how to train for a half marathon often make the mistake of pushing themselves too hard. While you need to be in great shape to finish a half marathon, it is possible to hurt your body or exhaust it before you start running.
That’s why it is smart to take it slow and let your body gradually adjust to the demands of your run. For example, you should be doing one mile every three to four minutes on your long runs and your race days. You should also take walk breaks when you start feeling tired. Gauge your tiredness using this guideline: if you can comfortably talk while you run, you are in good shape.
6. Visit the Marathon Course
About a month before the race, you should visit the course and map out its ups and downs. You are attempting to get a better feel for what is expected of you on your half marathon. For example, there may be very hilly sections that require more energy and stamina than flat or downhill sections.
7. Adjust Your Routine to Match the Course
Start training in a way that matches the demands of your course. For example, if the course is very hilly, you should be running up steeper inclines. However, if it is flatter and doesn’t have that many hills, you can run on a more flat surface. Adjusting your training in this way ensures you are ready for the big day and its unique demands.
By now, you should have a pretty good idea of how to train for a half marathon. You should understand the importance of slowly adjusting your routine to meet the demands of the half marathon, how to adjust your diet, and the ways your approach will vary depending on the course. If you have experience training for a half marathon or any other type of run, don’t hesitate to drop us a line and let us know.
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