So you have decided to run your first half marathon. If you are not a regular exerciser, the idea of getting off the couch for a half marathon and crossing the finish line may sound overwhelming.
Or maybe you are just thinking of the concept of one as a future goal. But it does not have to be. A goal from a couch to a half marathon can be achievable – you need to dedicate time to your destination, stay motivated, and commit to a beginner’s half marathon training plan.
Many half marathon beginners make the mistake of taking things too fast. They neglect adaptation, strength, and recovery techniques, leading to runner injury or burnout.
A half marathon requires a building phase if you are new to the sport or come back after a layoff. This phase will acclimatize your body, help you stick to an exercise plan, and give you time to find some routes to run. Using walking/running methods is a great way to use short runs with a gait recovery built-in. Your mileage every week should stay low as you gradually build up.
How long does it take to train for a half marathon?
As a beginner, plan 12 to 16 weeks of training from start to finish, which will allow you to build endurance, strength, and confidence for the first 4-6 weeks and then complete the eight-week half-marathon training plan to bring you straight to race day.
The important things to focus on when you get started and what’s are:
- Proper running technique and form – with critical exercises to optimize the way you run
- How to build running strength – without the need for a gym, so you can run faster and cruise up slopes
- Injury prevention – resolving the body’s tight areas, improving your range of motion, and staying consistent
- As a beginner runner, you need to listen to your body. Some pain is expected, but if you have irritating pain that does not go away or pain that affects your running shape, take action. Use your rest days to focus on proper hydration and nutrition and getting quality sleep.
Start where you are comfortable
Before you even look at what “Day One” in the training plan for beginners in the half marathon looks like, go out. Start at a level that your body can handle. Experiment if you’re not sure what’s right for you.