How do you eat an elephant? The standard answer to that question is, " one bite at a time!" The right way to complete any large task has essentially the same answer, "one step at a time." Taken all together, it really is formidable. Once you organize it into steps, then you can see how to get it done. Those steps can each be something that is not so difficult, and can be done. It is the same with training for a half marathon . Here are 7 easy steps to train for a half marathon.
Step 1. Give yourself time to train.
Plan on giving yourself 12 to 15 weeks to train. If you don't do that or neglect it, you can expect to not be in shape come race day. This will also give you time to ease into the training, preventing injuries.
Step 2. Plan on running 4 days a week.
This will include 3 mid-stance runs through the week and your longer run on the weekend relative to where you are at in your training. This is extremely important because it will allow you to build endurance slowly without burning yourself out, or setting yourself up for an injury.
Step 3. Eat right and drink plenty of water during your training.
Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains. Drink half your weight (lbs) in ounces of water. If you weight 180lbs, drink 90 oz. of water per day. Additionally, do your best to cut out junk food, soda, and alcohol during your training.
Step 4. Scout your running routes out ahead of time.
This will likely involve driving around tracking different distances with your odometer so you have pre-set routes. It will be more time-effective and easier to visualize your runs if you already have them measured and mapped out.
Step 5. Don't build all the way up to 13.1 miles.
An important factor you should remember here is going to be starting the first week running 0.5-1.0 miles 3 days during the week, then bump up to 1-1.5 miles for your weekend run. Slowly increase these distances so that the last week before the race you will have built up to 10-11 miles. You don't need to build up to the full 13.1 .
Step 6. Taper down your distances the week before the race.
Run no more than 5 or 6 miles the week before the half marathon. Just do a couple light jogs two days before the race..
Step 7. Have your itinarary set for race day.
You will most likely be getting up very early, and may need someone to drive you or pick you up after. Have all this planned out.
Alright! Your'e ready to get started. The most important thing to remember is to enjoy the process and have fun!