On your bucket list is a half marathon and you’re ready to scratch it of the list this year. It’s a great accomplishment and an even better commitment to your health. But where to start?
If you’re just getting off the couch for the first time, great job. The 5K is your first step. But for us at We are Weekend Warriors, these have become fun runs. We’re not saying running a sub-20 minute 5K is no small feat. But, if we’re going out to run, we want to really push ourselves over distance (and maybe we can’t catch that cross country kid that’s running the 5K in 18 minutes). 10K’s too are a bit too short for us, enter the half marathon!
Running over thirteen miles is not an easy task, but it’s no where near the time and fitness commitment it takes to run a full marathon. At We are Weekend Warriors, we see the half marathon as the perfect run length to fit in our busy lifestyles.
As with any an race preparation, a half marathon does take a time commitment. Even if you’re already in good shape, plan on allowing about eight to 10 weeks of running working up your distance to get your fitness up to where you can comfortably run the half. If you’re not an avid runner, then plan on a 12 – 15 week training schedule.
The key to running a half marathon is getting not only your body ready to run the distance, but also your mind. Mental prep for a half marathon is very important. If it’s your first one, you need to be comfortable running longer distances such as over 10 miles. I’ve found I’m mentally ready when I’m about to start a training run and I’m thinking, “only a 5 mile run? That’s it? What’s the point of that?!?” Once you are comfortable running seven or eight miles and have done a 10 or 11 miler, you’re ready to go!
CAUTION: One of the things that we have experience with is over training and experiencing overuse injuries. While you may feel good to run 35 or 40 miles per week, keep to you training plan. Too much too fast is always a recipe for disaster. Trust us, we’ve experienced the disappointment of training for a half marathon only to have to bail on it the day of the race from some overuse malady.