The half marathon is 13.1 miles, and is one of the most popular distances for road running enthusiasts. It’s long enough to feel challenging, but not long enough to leave you sore for the rest of the week (as long as you train properly)!
Are you ready to run a half marathon? The Running Well Store Guru’s are here to help with all the tips to train for a half marathon!
Start with these Half Marathon Training Tips
With spring quickly approaching, the time to start training for a half marathon is upon us. Whether you are an experienced runner, or are new to the whole running scene, we recommend giving yourself an adequate amount of time to properly train for a half marathon.
The time it takes to train will vary depending on your current running abilities and what your goals are, but we recommend spending AT LEAST 3 months (12 weeks) training in a build up before stepping on the starting line. This will give you enough time to build up your base, lower your heart rate, and increase your VO2. Running is simple, so try your best not to overcomplicate things during your training. Running is simply learning to be as comfortable as possible while being uncomfortable. During the training, it is crucial to stress your body by doing harder workouts/long runs and then letting your body rest and recover in between those sessions with easy running or active recovery. A great way to actively recover is biking, swimming, and simply taking days off! Like previously mentioned, this varies depending on what you are used to doing. If you have trained for a race before and were successful, we recommend not changing much, because if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! If you are new to training and need a training plan, there are plenty of great options online. One of our very own store managers, Cole Bosley, (Mission, KS location) has a coaching platform that offers great options for anyone! Click here to find out more!
Half Marathon Training Schedule
If you are looking for just a general outline of what a typical week could look like, here is a very general and simple training plan outline:
Monday: Easy Run
Tuesday: Harder Run / Workout
Wednesday: Active Recovery / Off Day
Thursday: Easy Run
Friday: Harder Run / Workout
Saturday: Active Recovery / Off Day
Sunday: Long Run
Tips During Half Marathon Training
For easy runs, we recommend keeping your heart rate below 155 bmp and listening to your body so that the run actually feels easy! For harder runs and workouts, some examples would be a tempo run, a fartlek, or intervals. A great beginner fartlek workout is 10 x 1 min hard, 1 min easy with a proper warm up and cool down. Just remember, hard days are meant to be hard, and easy days are meant to be easy!
When going through a training plan, we recommend starting off easy, and slowly increasing your mileage, and workload from week to week. A good rule of thumb is to increase your mileage by about 10 percent from week to week, with taking a “down week” every 3-5 weeks.
Week to Week Mileage Schedule
Week 1: 25 miles
Week 2: 27.5 miles
Week 3: 30 miles
Week 4: 33 miles
Week 5: 29 miles (down week)
Week 6: 33 miles
When you are about a week or two out from your scheduled race, we recommend doing a taper. A taper is essentially you backing off your training just a little bit in order for your body to feel light, rested, and ready to perform at its optimal ability.
An example of tapering is below:
Week 10: 50 miles
Week 11: 45 miles
Week 12 (Race Week): 35 miles
More Tips for Half Marathon Training:
When training for a race, running is obviously the most important thing. However, there are plenty more things that are important and even necessary for training and racing. For example, a good pair of running shoes will take you a long way (specifically 300-500 miles)! If you need to be properly fit for a pair of running shoes click here to find out more. Also, making sure that you have proper running clothes for the weather.
Winter can be brutal so making sure you have proper base layers, gloves, beanies, etc. is crucial.
Often overlooked is nutrition. When racing a half marathon, taking gels is important to make sure your body is properly fueled throughout the race. Make sure you practice with your nutrition during your training to make sure your body responds well to whichever nutrition product you try!
Last but definitely not least, make sure you get plenty of sleep and are drinking plenty of water! The little things add up, trust us!
For race day, we want to make sure that nothing is a surprise so that we are as comfortable as possible. Make sure you have worn the clothes and shoes that you are going to race in before, make sure you have your nutrition down, and be confident that you are ready to reach your goals!
Final Half Marathon Training Tips!!
Like mentioned earlier, running is simple and meant to be fun, so keep it that way. Sometimes during training, it can get monotonous and our best advice is to try new running spots, and meet up with people to run. Our stores have a group run typically during the first week of the month, (follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or stop by any one of our three locations, Lee’s Summit, Northland, or Mission, KS, for more information), and there are plenty of other groups that meet up as well which you can learn about. As for new running spots, a quick google search will lend a huge hand into learning about new spots around you! (Also, check out TRWS Guru’s fav running route’s here) The running community is a great one, so make sure to connect with those around you! We hope this simple blog was easy to follow and effective. As always, Run Well!
About TRWS GURU Cole
Cole is the founder of PRC. He is a USATF Level 1 Certified Coach and has been running for 13 years. He has competed on the cross country and track teams for Emporia State University and Long Beach State. He obtained his Master’s Degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology in hopes to help all athletes overcome the mental challenges they face. He coached a youth track club for 4 years, was a graduate assistant coach at Long Beach State, and is now an assistant coach at Rockhurst University in Kansas City. He started working at The Running Well Store, as the manager of our Mission location in the fall of 2021, and will be coaching The Running Well Store Newbie Run Club.
Not certain if this shoe is right for you?
We understand! There are a lot of options of footwear on the market and deciding what model is the right model for your needs is not easy. We are here for you! You can come into one of our three locations (Lee’s Summit, Northland and Mission, KS) for a free stride analysis. No appointment is necessary, but if you would like to schedule an appointment, click here. We take in-person and virtual fittings. Wantto do research online? We have a find my fit tool that will help you narrow down footwear options. We hope to hear from you soon!