How to Train for Your First Half Marathon

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Have you always wanted to run a half marathon, but just don’t know where to start? Do you find yourself envious of the graceful runners that make it look effortless? I know I do! The thought of running long distance can seem incredibly overwhelming! Trust me, your body is capable of it, it’s your mind that you have to convince. The female body is capable of incredible things; We can do incredible things! In this article, we’re going to lay out a basic progression plan on how to train for your first half marathon! Are you ready?!

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First Things, First

The first thing that you need to do is select the race that you want to run. This specific progression routine will take place over 16 weeks. That’s 4 months of practice. As I said before, the human body is an incredible machine and is highly adaptable. Making small changes week-by-week, will allow you to safely and effectively run your first half marathon! Once you’ve signed up for your race, you can get to training!

It’s important to keep in mind that you need to practice for the specific race that you’re running. This means that if the race takes place on flat ground, train on flat ground. If the race is in a hilly part of town, you’ll need to train with some incline. You don’t want to be caught off guard come race day!

16-Week Half Marathon Training Progression

This training program will require you to run 3 days a week, with 2 shorter runs on weekdays and one longer run on the weekend. For this program we’re going to say training days are Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday. It will slowly progress in total mileage as the weeks pass, but every 4 weeks will be a recovery week. The last 2-3 weeks will taper off into shorter runs in an effort to allow your body to be fully prepared for race day!

I want you to always give yourself a day in between runs, where you either rest or perform a lower impact form of cardio like biking or swimming for no more than 30 minutes. Don’t over do it! Rest is just as important as training. Each week, you also need to get 2 days (Monday/Wednesday) of strength training for your lower body and core. Low impact cardio can be done on the same day as strength training. As rest is extremely important to recovery, you must take at least 1 day off of all exercise, but preferably 2 (Friday/Sunday).

Let’s get started!

For weeks 1 through 4, if you’re a beginner, you should use a walk/run style of training. Try to walk for 30-60 seconds and then run for 30-60 seconds. Depending on whether or not it’s easy or hard for you, you can decrease or increase those increments of time.

Week 1: (5 Miles)

Monday: Strength Training – Legs

Tuesday: 1.5 Miles

Wednesday: Strength Training – Core

Thursday: 1.5 Miles

Saturday: 2 Miles

Week 2: (5.5 Miles)

Monday: Strength Training – Legs

Tuesday: 1.5 Miles

Wednesday: Strength Training – Core

Thursday: 1.5 Miles

Saturday: 2.5 Miles

Week 3: (6 Miles)

Monday: Strength Training – Legs

Tuesday: 1.5 Miles

Wednesday: Strength Training – Core

Thursday: 1.5 Miles

Saturday: 3 Miles

Week 4: Recovery Week (4.5 Miles)

Monday: Strength Training – Legs

Tuesday: 1.5 Miles

Wednesday: Strength Training – Core

Thursday: 1.5 Miles

Saturday: 1.5 Miles

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