Half marathon training is the way to go if you don't want to commit yourself to training for a full marathon.
As half marathon lovers say, "Half the distance and twice the fun".
Hard core marathoners might debate about that since what could be better than running 26.2 miles? wink*
However a lot of runners (about 2x as many in fact) believe that 13.1 miles is the way to go.
Less recovery time, less training time, less race time involved all with the same adrenaline rushing hype as the marathon. Not only that but it is one of the best stepping stones to completing a full marathon.
If you still aren't sure if you should run a half marathon then here are 11 reasons why you should!
The first step when setting any goal is to make sure that it is a realistic goal.
Is your body up to the challenge?
Can you mentally tackle the distance?
Are you at a good point in your life to juggle all of the training?
We have several half marathon training plans from Beginner to Intermediate levels! They all very in length depending on how many weeks you need to train for the half marathon.
Our 3 most popular half marathon plans:
If you are looking to lose weight while running a half marathon:
Want to train for an end of summer race?
If you still don't find the right training plan, I also offer Custom Half Marathon Training Plans.
There is a reason why you have chosen to run a half marathon.
Maybe you are doing it to challenge yourself. Maybe you want to lose some weight. Maybe you are doing it with a group of friends. Maybe you are raising funds or awareness for a certain cause. Maybe you are doing it to beat your last half marathon time.
Whatever it is, write it down.
Having a specific goal that you want to accomplish will increase your chances of success.
Here is a goals setting worksheet and thought pattern you can use to really hone in on your WHY.
Mental training is a huge aspect of running long distances.
How you THINK is how you will FEEL!
It will really calm down any nerves you might have but more importantly your brain will allow your body to go for 13.1 miles!
Running a half marathon will probably be one of the coolest things you will ever do! Document it.
However, having something that allows you to go back and assess what worked for you and what didn't work is one of the best things an aspiring runner can do.
As a runner, you need to eat as a runner should.
What your body needs in order to train and run a half marathon is critical to your success.
What your body essentially wants as a long distance runner is complex carbohydrates as they are the macro nutrient that your body burns the fastest and most efficiently to sustain your high intensity running.
Learn about what you half marathon nutrition should look like on this page!
Your pace will make or break your race. One of the biggest mistakes half marathoners (and marathoners) make is starting out too fast and sustaining too fast of a pace at the beginning of the race.
Pacing can be a difficult thing to harness.
My ultimate resource for pacing is my Train Faster + Smarter Pace Kit.
Cross training allows your body to workout other muscles that you don't use when running.
It ultimately will help you to prevent injury by strengthening all of your muscles.
However if you are working off of a short or intense training program then it could be in your best interest to skip your cross training workout.
Here's a guide on cross training + the best cross-training that will benefit your half marathon training and the ones to avoid while in training. One of the best forms of cross training is strength training for runners!
Another challenge you will run into while training for a half marathon is avoiding injury.
Since you are putting in so much time into your running, injuries can and will crop up from time to time and can range from minor to chronic.
I talk about running injuries here, the most common types and what you need to do about them to prevent them and care for them.
See this guide on what you should be including in that last week of half marathon training.
It includes a packing checklist, what you should be eating, how to get completely psyched up, some running and race tips, how to mentally get your mind ready and what your nutrition should look like the day and night before and morning of the race.
The other important aspect to implement is what you should be eating. On this page we talk about what to eat the week before a race.
It will takes some planning but failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
Give this week your best!
Nutrition and hydration on race day are probably the most important aspects to keep at the front of your mind but also dealing with the heat, pain, mind block, and in general just having a good time!
Also, when can you race again? I'm sure you will be asking!
Reward yourself! Relax and take a break from any intense running for at least 2 weeks.
Here is a marathon recovery timeline that also works for half marathoners. Be sure to look at the recovery essentials list to help you feel your best quickly after the half marathon!
If you are worried about gaining weight and losing fitness after your training program then this page is for you.
It talks about how to stay in shape in between your races and training cycles and includes what a sample workout week might look like to help you keep your running fitness in order to be able to begin training at any point in time!
Resources on nailing your Half Marathon Nutrition:
Mental Training for your Half Marathon:
Resources to help you with your half marathon training long runs:
Running Workouts that might be included on your half marathon training plan:
Training & running tips to help you on your half marathon journey:
Half Marathon Training & Running Gear:
Resources on Running Injuries:
Extras on Half Marathon Training: