First Half Marathon – Training

Congratulations, you’ve decided to run your first half marathon!!! and you should be proud of yourself, whether this is a first race, or the start of running becoming a serious hobby! Training is a time commitment, but the race day will come quickly and passing the finish line is a huge accomplishment. So take a deep breath, it will be an amazing journey, and if not, there’s always food, beer, and friends and family (or strangers).

Whether you are a first time runner, or a long time runner, training is the first step to cross the finish line (yes, you could also just wing it, and yes it could be super easy for you, but not everyone is superman/ superwoman). Since I started running seriously, I got two really close people to run their first half marathon (probably should think about stopping to talk about running, but who can blame me): Mom and Liv, I am so proud of both of you for making it that far for your first race.

IMG_1049
My parents and I after my mom’s first half marathon and my dad and my second half marathon

My favorite 8-week training plan for first time half marathon runners is pretty easy to remember, and easy to follow. Both of my parents followed this regimen and were able to get through the finish line with a smile, and without walking. With only three runs a weeks and some cross training, you can achieve whatever goal you have, or at least get your correct mileage:

Week 1: 
M- rest
T- cross training
W- 3 miles
T – rest/ cross training
F- 3 miles
S- rest / cross training
S – 6 miles

Week 2
M- rest
T- cross training
W- 3 miles
T – rest/ cross training
F- 4 miles
S- rest / cross training
S – 7 miles

Week 3
M- rest
T- cross training
W- 4 miles
T – rest/ cross training
F- 4 miles
S- rest / cross training
S – 8 miles

Week 4
M- rest
T- cross training
W- 4 miles
T – rest/ cross training
F- 5 miles
S- rest / cross training
S – 9 miles

Week 5
M- rest
T- cross training
W- 5 miles
T – rest/ cross training
F- 5 miles
S- rest / cross training
S – 10 miles

Week 6
M- rest
T- cross training
W- 5 miles
T – rest/ cross training
F- 6 miles
S- rest / cross training
S – 11 miles

Week 7
M- rest
T- cross training
W- 4 miles
T – rest/ cross training
F- 4 miles
S- rest / cross training
S – 8 miles

RACE WEEK
M- rest
T- cross training
W- 3 miles
T – rest
F- 3miles
S- rest
S – RACE!!!!

Cross training: Low impact sports (think cycling, yoga, swimming), etc.
Rest days: Even if you think that you can run on your rest days, think again. Rest is as important as a run day, especially for your muscles. But if you really can’t stand not working out on those days, think light exercise and low impact sports.
Short runs (the rest of the week):  Try going your target pace, or on the harder (hillier) courses. 
Long runs (your Sunday runs)
: run as slow as you need to be able to talk and run

If you have a Saturday race, just move the training days up one, and do your long runs on a Saturday.

AND DON’T FORGET TO HAVE FUN!!!!!!!! 

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