Half marathon training starts at the end of this month, Saturday 27th August, with a 6 mile or 10K easy run. For those new to half marathon training here are my tips for getting yourself prepared. Preparation is key to ensuring you arrive at the start line feeling fit and confident but avoiding injury on the way.
- Get used to running at least three times a week, aiming for 10 – 15 miles per week. Our half marathon training increases the long run distance by about 1 to 1.5 miles and you want this to be about 10% of your weekly total. Increasing your mileage by more than 10% increases the risk of injury. The peak week of your training should be 20 to 25 miles (for beginners).
- The sweet spot is to train enough but not too much so that you feel fit and confident but not tired or, worse, injured. Your training plan should include a lighter week before your event (called a taper week) so you need to get your longer runs in before that.
- Aim for two shorter runs in the week and a longer run at the weekend. Our half marathon training is on Saturday mornings. Beginners should have a rest day after the long run. The long run is your most important run of the week! It needs to be completed at a nice steady, conversational pace.
- Aim for at least three runs a week, two rest days and a day where you cross train. Cross training is important because it helps to build fitness and strength without adding running load. Cycling and swimming are good.
- There are lots of training plans online but the key thing is to take ownership of it! Make your plan your own. Plan in your three runs a week for times you are more likely to be able to complete them. Schedule your runs in your calendar and tick them off as you complete them. My own observation is that beginners tend to make two mistakes: either over commit and train when injured and makes things worse or do not commit enough! Try to make a realistic plan, that does not progress too quickly and do your best to stick to it!
Good Luck with training everyone!