Are You Ready to Run a Half Marathon?
It’s no secret that running is hard, physically and mentally. A half marathon will challenge you in many respects:
You’ll need to build endurance, commit to a training plan and be consistent with your training over the course of several weeks.
Once you cross that finish line though, we suspect the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel will make it all worth it.
Are you ready to take on 13.1? Here are some things to work on as you train up to race day:
Build endurance. Ideally you’re already running 3-4 miles at a time 3 or 4 times a week. If this is the case, a 12-14 week training plan is ideal for you. If you’re starting from square one, give yourself more time to train. 6 months is optimal.
Incorporate Quality Runs. A good half marathon training plan not only ramps up miles as you proceed, it incorporates different kinds of runs that challenge your body in different ways. Speedwork trains your fast-twitch muscle fibers and teaches your body to run faster with less perceived exertion. Tempo runs teach your body to hold a faster pace longer and long runs help you train those slow-twitch muscle fibers, build endurance and get used to time on your feet.
Practice Proper Fueling and Hydration. Every training run is a rehearsal for race day. It’s important to learn what types of fuel work best for your body when you train. Try different foods, drinks and gels and experiment with the ideal intervals that keep you running strong without tummy troubles.
Practice mental strategies. As you train it’s important to visualize success. Practice positive self-talk. Pick a mantra or two to lean on when the going gets tough.
Find a Support Group. The running community is an amazing resource. Training with a group of like-minded runners can inspire you and make even the most challenging workouts more fun. If you're looking for a fun and free community, try ZOOMA Run Club - it's free to join and includes monthly runs and activities and a great facebook support group.
Make Time for Recovery. Don’t give up on rest days. Allowing your body to rest sufficiently is a valuable part training. It’s important not to skimp on warmups, cooldowns, post-run stretching and foam rolling.
By Marcia Kadens, Certified RRCA Running Coach and author of Marcia’s Healthy Slice
About ZOOMA. We believe it’s incredibly important to support each other’s goals, dreams and aspirations. The ZOOMA community is made up of all types of women who seek to achieve athletic and personal goals and support each other while doing so. ZOOMA race weekends are always filled with fun and incredible support and we’ll be there with you every step of the way - through your training, before race day and after race day.