Post # 1
I’m currently signed up for my first half marathon next spring! I’m nervous and excited at the same time. I am NOT a runner, but I’m hoping six months of training will get me there (I run about 3 miles two times a week right now pre-training). I know that I can at least finish the race, but scoring a good time? That’s a different story.
Any half/full marathon runners have any tips for beginners?
Post # 2
- Wedding: April 2017 - Hogarths, Solihull
I’ve run 3 half marathons and I’m signed up for a full next year. I am slow AF 🙂
When I’ve trained for halves, I run 3 times a week. 2 midweek runs of around 3 miles each and a longer run at the weekend, which I increase by 1 mile each week. I take 2 rest days a week, and I have 2 cross training days a week (swim/cycle/yoga etc)
Take it slow, get some good running shoes and listen to your body. If you are in a lot of pain on a day you are scheduled to run, don’t risk injury by going. You will miss days and that’s ok. You can also re-arrange your weekly schedule to suit you. You don’t have to run on the same days each week 🙂
Good luck! 🙂
Post # 3
Thank you! I’m definitely interested in following your training plan. I plan on running on a treadmill during the weekdays runs and outside for the weekend long run. Did you train at all on a treadmill? I know it’s not ideal, but I have anxiety over running outside for some reason.. maybe my training will allow me to get over that!
Now I just need to think of what to do for cross training? Would pilates or weight training count towards that?
Post # 4
Check to see if there’s a running group in your area. That’s what I did. The way to keep up endurance for me for 1:1. 1 minute run, 1 minute walk. I got a Garmin watch to help keep pace. And Shot Bloks to boost energy. Every saturday we would run on a trail, tuesdays we would do hills and Thursday we would do track with lots of warm ups and stretches.
Post # 5
I second what PP have said with their training tips!
For your first half marathon, just focus on finishing, not on hitting a certain time. Just enjoy the experience. Running a half marathon at all is a huge accomplishment already without having to worry about hitting a certain time. That’s what the second half marathon is for!
Make sure you feed yourself correctly too. Half marathon training is not the time to go on any crazy diets!
Post # 6
I just did my first! I would say keep it slow at the beginning. I only ran 3 days a week because I have injured myself in the past by starting out too hard. I would do one day a week short and fast, one day medium distance and medium pace and one day a week slow and long. I would build up the mileage gradually especially since you have so much time. The longest I ever ran was 10 miles. The other days I would do the elliptical and do calisthenics, take a long walk, and lift with a trainer with Sunday off. Good luck!!! Definitely skip the treadmill!!!!! It snows here in the winter so I treadmilled all winter and it was SO hard to build up my outside endurance after that.
Post # 7
Another suggestion-visit a running store and get fitted properly for shoes. Those make all the difference between getting an injury and staying healthy.
Post # 8
Enjoy the experience, but pay attention to your body and your training schedule. I ended up with nasty shin splints in the leadup to my first half marathon because I didn’t listen to my body. Take rest when you need it, and know that finishing is an achievement in itself.
Get good running shoes that work for your stride and body type. A good running store *should* be able to help you find shoes that fit your foot structure and run stride.
I have done a large portion of training for both half and full marathons on treadmills, it can be done, and with the right treadmill it can be easier on your joints. For cross training, I like swimming or biking as they are non impact. Weight training and pilates are great as it is very easy to get used to the running motion and not train other muscles that provide support to those used in running.
Like other poseters have said, don’t focus on a specific time. Especially if you are not coming from a running background it can take a long time to figure out how to run a “fast” half-marathon. It took me a number of years of dedicated training (running and triathlon) to get the base strength/endurance I needed to focus on a “time” instead of a finish. Having said that, there are plenty of people who go from couch to training and run fast times/their goal times, but I wasn’t one of them so don’t get discouraged or focused on time alone. Over a 3-4 year period I took around 40 minutes off my time, but that included really learning how to run and very consistent training (I grew up as a competitive swimmer and was never a good runner).
Also, try to find a running buddy that will encourage you to get out and get your runs in when you aren’t feeling up to it.
One last piece of advice- you should also try to find a sports drink and/or gel/ food that you like. Most races will have something provided on course and if you can’t find out what brand your race will use I would consider bringing your own gels/drink mix to to the race. You should be using a sports drink/gel of some sort on your longer runs, and I have had some not so great experiences when I tried a new food/drink on race day and it didn’t do so well with my stomach. Personally, I like the GU products, but it took me a bit of testing to find ones that I could digest will maxing out my efforts. Most running stores will have a variety of drink and food/gels so you can experiment to find what you like. If you want a huge variety online I would suggest Road Runner Sports website (or store if they have one near where you live).
Most important- HAVE FUN!
Post # 9
- Wedding: April 2017 - Hogarths, Solihull
either would be fine. I can’t stand the treadmill – my legs are too long haha it messes with my stride length.
If that works for you though, go for it!!
Post # 10
Congratulations! You’re taking a big step to a personal achievement. I have been doing distance running for 8 years and have done a bunch of half and full marathons. Some people are one and done but I love it. Hope you do too!
Everyone here has given excellent advice. I agree with: getting fitted for proper shoes, upping mileage gradually, listening to your body, finding the right fuel sources, and going for completion rather than time.
For training plans, you can find something online from Runners World or something like that. PPs are right that the ideal plan has a long run, speed work, and easy runs on any given week, along with tempo runs and cross training. My biggest advice– DEFINITELY do strength training and core workouts! It makes a huge difference in form, stamina, and injury prevention. That means with a little effort, you’ll run much happier as your distances grow. Focus on strengthening your hips, glutes, and abs.
I also caution against running *too* much on the treadmill. Outdoor running does feel different, and you’ll want to practice running on varied terrain and in different weather conditions so that you are prepared for race day. Is there something in particular about running outside that makes you anxious?
Finally– and this is more for race day than training– take the chance to focus on your surroundings and appreciate the atmosphere, especially if your half marathon is a big race. So many runners zone out with their headphones and miss the race festivities. Total strangers cheering for you is an AMAZING feeling!
Best of luck in your training!
Post # 11
unhipinbrooklyn : kmeris : abl13 : krjunebride : monsterly :
Thank you so much for all of your tips and suggestions!
I ran outside for the first time this weekend and it felt great. I really enjoyed it and I was actually faster outside than I am on a treadmill. It’s just the beginning, but I feel very optomistic and frankly just proud of myself for even trying. I appreciate all of the helpful advice and I’m definitely going to focus on not injurying myself!
Post # 12
Make sure you don’t overdo it, mileage wise. I am not a runner, but signed up for a marathon this October. When I was running before the running group started, I pushed mileage and frequency too much and eneded up with an IT band problem. It sucks. When the run group started, I was doing a run walk, well walk run and going to PT. I made it through 13 miles (it took me over 3 hours with the intervals I was doing) but after that my knee started acting up. I had to drop the marathon and I’m back in PT. IT band problems (also called runners knee) is really painful and takes FOREVER to get better. So pace yourself. For sure join a run group, it makes it so much better!
Post # 13
Hi! I am a former half marathoner (I’ve done 3). I trained for twelve weeks before each of my races, five days a week with my runs ranging from three to ten miles in distance. I also did one twelve-mile run two weeks before each race and then tapered. I found the training plan that I followed online but that was back in 2007 so I don’t for the life of me remember which one it was. I found out in 2010 that I have a minor heart condition so I decided that it was best to retire myself as a long distance runner. When I ran I did all of my training outdoors because I detest treadmills. I also did each race with at least one friend so I had training buddies along the way, which was nice.
Post # 14
Hi! No tips, but I just signed up for my first half in May 2017! We can be beginning running buddies.
Post # 15
For your first half-marathon, don’t even THINK about time! Just get ‘er done! Once you have one under your belt, then use that as a baseline to start focusing on time with.
A half-marathon is a big achievement, especially for a non-runner, so give yourself these 6 months to prepare your body just for running that distance and ENJOYING it. The last thing you want is to be so focused on achieving a particular time that you don’t enjoy the experience. Allow yourself to enjoy your first one, then start worrying about competing against the clock.
ETA: training trip, don’t over-do the distance. I gave myself 5 weeks to train (should have done more but it was a last minue decision) and only did long distances on the weekends and then would run 5-8 km 2-3 x a week in between. I started with a 10 k run the first weekend and then upped it by about 2km each weekenk.