Last week we talked about why a half-marathon should be in your future. As I said in that article, this week would feature a half-marathon training schedule to get you ready for your up-coming race.
If you do not have much experience in distance running, you will want to start slow. Before beginning this training schedule, spend 4 weeks building up your conditioning. Jumping in cold turkey is a great way to get inured. So if you are a beginner, start with this:
- Week 1 – Jogging at a comfortable pace (as slow as necessary) for 1 minute and walking for 1 minute. Do this for 10 minutes.
- Week 2 – Jogging for 2 Minutes and walking for 1 minute. Do this for 15 minutes
- Week 3 – Jogging for 4 minutes and walking for 1 minute – Do this for 20 minutes
- Week 4 – Jogging for 8 minutes and walking for 1 minute – Do this for 20 Minutes
If you are used to distance running, but have not tried anything close to a half-marathon (13.1 miles), follow this 12-week Half-Marathon Training plan.
On cross-training days, incorporate resistance work if you are not already doing so (The Fitness Level Test would be a great option if you are not sure what to do). On interval days, run at a higher-than-normal pace for the allotted time and then jog at a slower pace to recover for the allotted time.
You will notice that at the beginning for the training program, the distances steadily increase over the first few weeks. As you progress, the distances start to vary week by week. When you come to a shorter run, focus on improving your pace per mile. On longer runs, run at a comfortable pace that will allow you to make it the full distance for that day.
Try your best to keep running, but if you absolutely have to walk for a bit, that is okay; just promise yourself that you will keep moving forward!
Ultimately, this is about getting into better shape and training your mind just as much as your body to push through when it starts getting tough. You are only racing yourself so don’t worry about what others are doing; just focus on doing your best.
I recommend using a smartphone app to track your time and progress (Personally, I use the Nike+ app). If you do not have access to a smartphone, use a watch to time your run and plot your run on Google Maps in order to get the distance right.
If you are up for the challenge, comment below. Once you pick a race, sign-up and let us know so we can support you as you get ready and celebrate with you when you finish.