Where we make some excuses for various things but finally give you some useful info about training for a half marathon…
The good people of TWCM surely loved the 10Km training plan post we made recently! A couple of requests for similar plans for the half marathon and full marathon distances threw us over at TWCM Blog Headquarters into a tizzy. All named and unnamed fears about training for long distance races surfaced. Finally, we figured that the solution to all of life’s problems lies in a simple thing called the internet…
In our (sort of humble) opinion, you are ready to train for a half marathon if you have some experience of longish distance running under your belt. Perhaps it would be beneficial if you did actually enjoy running in general, but we know that is sometimes an acquired taste. Assuming this is so, and that you have signed up for the race of the year at our registration page, may we first list a few cautions?
- Long distance running is tough – as is training for it – make sure you are fully fit to embark on this (admittedly wonderful) journey. Get that annual physical out of the way. Talk to your doctor.
- Patience is a virtue – in training for (and actually, even running) long distance races, the patient shall surely inherit the earth. Don’t do too much too soon! It’s neither helpful nor worth it.
- Rest is best – New runners think they have to run every.single.day. As if you are going to forget it if you miss a day. You won’t. Give yourself sufficient rest, trust us, you will thank us on race day (and for the rest of your life).
- Cross training – does not mean ‘running’ faster or slower. It’s defined as anything but running. Good options are walking, cycling, swimming. Bad options are TV watching and junk food binges.
- Walking in a race – is perfectly fine. We all do it. Don’t worry about it! In fact when you read on you will notice that a special training scheme actually recommends it!!
- Time Goal – if this is your first race, your main goals should be finish, be strong at the end, and generally be happy and smiley all the time. Save time goals for later!
There are many places you can go for a training plan for a half marathon. As the number of runners on our roads has increased dramatically over the past few decades, so have trainers and plans. Of course many of the old-timers ‘train themselves’ as well… In this post, we discuss some of the most popular, sort of conventional plans… If you are a beginner, this may be a good place to start learning about the art and science of marathons and half marathons…
- Hal Higdon is a seasoned, veteran marathoner and author of several books, including the Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide. He has written for the running magazine, Runner’s World, for half a century now! Here you can find his free half marathon training plan for beginners: Hal Higdon’s Plan.
- Jeff Galloway is our personal favourite. He is the ‘inventor’ of the Galloway Run Walk Run routine. He has coached and training hundreds of thousands of runners and is a popular motivational speaker as well. You can check out his free half marathon training plan here: Run Walk Run Plan.
- The magazine giant Runner’s World will sell you a training plan – we know of someone who knows someone who likes these plans for sure. Check it out here, read also the detailed explanations there about Easy Runs, Tempo Runs and other such: Runner’s World Training
- In recent times, as busy executives and generally over-worked people have voluntarily entered into this recreational running gig, out of interest, for health reasons, etc., there is some focus on training routines that require less time. In this sort of space is the ‘Run Less Run Faster’ program of Bill Pierce, Scott Murr, and Ray Moss. You have to understand the system here – and buy the book: Run Less Run Faster Web-Site. This may be something you aspire for for later maybe? After your first half marathon, when you feel like advancing to a full marathon in the Chennai Marathon in 2015? Bill Pierce is visiting India currently so make sure you meet him and look knowledgeable about the “Furman FIRST” program!!
To our minds, the above prescribed reading assignment will get you going on training for your first Half Marathon, with a song on your lips. Pick one of the options, and try it out! Make your own spreadsheet, listing what the planned routine is for each day of the week.
Final Note: Join a training group – in Chennai we have several super options for you, via the most awesome Chennai Runners. Click below and join any of them! If you are in Pune, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Kochi and LOTS OF OTHER PLACES, there are running groups you can join. Trust us, you will fall in love ’cause Runners Are The Best People On The Planet.