Training Tips For a Half Marathon

Half Marathon Runnning TipsGetting My Groove Back

Hi Guys!  I hope everyone had an amazing weekend and enjoyed the first week of school.  It’s always a hectic time of year, but I do enjoy getting back to school and to a routine.  A week ago I went out for a run with my girlfriends and was planning to run 6-7 miles.  I actually ended up running almost 9 miles.  I am not going to lie I felt really good and could have kept going.  Like I said in a previous post, I have been kinda slacking on my running lately.  This little runner’s high motivated me to sign up for a half marathon in October The Onward Shay.  The girls I run with are running it so it will be a lot of fun.  I thought I would share with you what my training will be for this race and some tips and tricks I have learned from running several half and full marathons.  

First off, I don’t really have a time goal.  I would like to be under 2 hours, but I am not going to stress out if I am not.  I really just want to go out and enjoy the run.  I plan to incorporate a lot of cross training and yoga into my training  plan.  I also want to dial in my nutrition a little bit as well over the course of my training.  

My Plan

I really like Hal Higdon’s training. I am the type of person who likes to cross things off a list and having a schedule to stick to really helps me.  I plan to use his as a guide and make a few changes to personalize it to my own needs. 

Here is what my week will look like at a glance:

  • Monday:  2-3 Mile Interval Run and Strength Train
  • Tuesday:  Cross Train (boot camp class)
  • Wednesday:  Tempo/Pace Run or Hill Repeats 3-4 Miles
  • Thursday:  Cross Train (boot camp class)
  • Friday:  Orangetheory
  • Saturday:  Rest or Yoga
  • Sunday:  Long Run

As for my nutrition I won’t really change much, but I do need to figure out what to eat or drink during the actual half marathon.  In the past I have eaten mini lara bars, fig newtons or  salted dates stuffed with peanut butter (SOOOOO GOOOOOD)!  I cannot use gels or sports drinks because they tend to upset my stomach and cause cramping.  Usually I just put a pinch of salt in my water and it seems to work for me.  Here are a few tips for running a half marathon that have helped me out

Beginner Half Marathon Tips

Running Groups

Run your long run with friends if  you can.  It helps to have a group to get you through those long runs.  If you don’t have friends that run, look for a local running group.  

Increase Mileage Slowly

Build up your mileage slowly each week.  Avoid increasing your mileage drastically.  

Find a plan

Like I mentioned above I like to have a training plan and there are a lot of plans out there on the web.  Find one you like and stick to it.  

Rest Days

Resting is very important for your body and brain.  Rest is when your body repairs itself to help prevent injury.  Don’t try to run every day.  Most training plans incorporate off days or cross training days.  My plan has me running 3 times a week and it is working great.  On your rest days try to incorporate some stretching and foam rolling.   

Gear Up

Get running shoes that are properly fitted to your foot.  Find accessories and gear that make runs easier.  Some of my favorites are hydration belts, garmin watches, and a nice pair of headphones for those solo runs.  

Cross Train

Incorporate cross training like cycling, swimming, strength training, or take a fitness class.  This will help build your cardio endurance and muscular strength while conditioning different muscle groups and preventing overuse injuries.

Nutrition & Hydration

Be in tune with your hunger, just because you burned 1,000 calories during a run doesn’t mean you need to replace all those calories in one day.  I personally don’t feel hungry after my long run, so I eat more the next day.  Throw in a quick post workout snack to consume right after your run.    

Be sure to drink during your run if you can and hydrate throughout the day every day.  Aim for 16-48 ounces of fluid for any long runs at moderate intensity over an hour.  Take small sips as needed throughout your run.  

Race Fuel

Experiment with fuel.  Find what works for your body and make sure you practice with your fuel during your long runs.

I hope these tips help you get started on your goal to running a half marathon.  For your first half marathon try not to beat yourself up if you don’t meet a certain time.  Having a goal is great but finishing a half marathon is a huge accomplishment.   

Do any of you out there plan to run a fall half-marathon or race?  I would love to hear which one you are doing.