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NANLEYKW SparkPoints: (76,244)
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5/4/13 10:33 P

I'm about to start training for my first half, and I don't run anything like your miles. (Right now, I run 3 or 3.5 miles a couple of times a week and have a long run up to 5 or 6 miles.) I have confidence that the training programs I'm using (I'm kind of creating my own from a few different ones) will help me build up the mileage appropriately. And honestly--after I ran 6 miles, I really felt like I could do it again, so 13.1 miles doesn't seem so totally crazy. (Which, in itself, is crazy, because a year ago, running 60 seconds seemed like hard work!)

Just like C25K builds you up gradually when the end goal seems unreachable, the half-marathon training programs do, too. You can do it!

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (189,225)
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Posts: 15,735
5/4/13 5:24 P

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Well hey, I am running my 8th marathon (26.2 miles) tomorrow and at one time I couldn't run for 1 minute nonstop. You build up to it, and training plans always look a lot harder on paper than in reality. You run 26.2 miles the same way you'd run 1 step at a time.

CHRISTINA791 SparkPoints: (69,514)
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5/4/13 2:50 P

The cool thing about marathon and half-marathon training is that you build yourself up a little bit each week until you suddenly find that you're running distances that seemed impossible two months before. It's all about conditioning yourself and building endurance.

One thing you'll notice is that most training programs give you a variety of different run types. It sounds like you're going out and doing a daily run at the same intensity and slightly different distances? To start training for longer races, you'll want to switch things up a bit (this lets you work on different aspects of running while giving yourself some recovery time). That's another important point: It's a good idea to build a couple rest days into your weekly plan.

Here are some of the typical training components in most HM plans:

Steady runs: These are comfortable, non-stop runs at an easy pace (you should be able to carry on a conversation). Usually up to 5-6k at a time.

Tempo runs: These are fairly short, quick runs. You don't want to be sprinting, but it should be more challenging than a steady run.

Long runs: Most people do one a week on the weekend. These are slower, usually incorporate walk breaks, and are all about building up your distance and endurance. The goal isn't to mimic a race, it's to slowly build how long you can make your body move. The group I train with does ten minutes of running followed by a one minute walk break, at a pace that's about a minute per kilometer slower than we would race at. You start at a manageable distance (for my HM training, my first long run was 8k) and then add two km per week. Every 4-5 weeks, we'll drop back and do a shorter recovery run before continuing to build, so it might look something like this: 8k, 10k, 12k, 14k, 16k, 10k (recovery), 16k, 18k... and so on.

Hills/speed: Most plans will incorporate some hills and speedwork to help build up your strength. It's easy to neglect these (they're hard!), but I've found it really helpful to add them in.

My usual training week will look something like this:

Sunday: Long run
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Tempo run
Wednesday: Hills/Speed
Thursday: Steady run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Easy steady run or crosstraining (Swimming is great)

As for food, it's not unusual to gain a couple pounds or hold steady while you're training. It's a delicate balancing act, because you do need to eat more, but it's so easy to fill in the extra calories with junk. Make sure your tracker is up to date with the amount of activity you're doing, and try entering your meal plans in advance to make sure you're hitting all your nutrients. More than ever, food is fuel for you now and you need to make sure you're getting the good stuff.

Good luck!

Edited by: CHRISTINA791 at: 5/4/2013 (14:55)
DOCTATITO SparkPoints: (59,272)
Fitness Minutes: (112,718)
Posts: 1,032
5/4/13 1:20 P

I've run a couple of half marathons and one full. I used Hal Higdon's Novice training plans for both distances. Those weekend long runs are the core part of the training, and training is mental as much as physical--you're getting to the point where you can imagine running that long. They steadily build up your physical and mental stamina so you can get to the finish.

Also check out the very active Half Marathon SparkTeam--lots of experienced runners who can offer advice on a world of topics.

Good luck and happy running!

PINKPANTHER444 Posts: 1,737
5/4/13 1:08 P

I've become a bit obsessed with the desire to run a half marathon. I started running daily about a month ago and have worked up to running 4-5 miles a day. I checked out some of the half marathon training schedules online and they basically have you running 2, 3, 4 miles a day and then a long run of 10mi on the weekend.Yikes! I can't imagine running that long (yes, I realize a half marathon is 13.1mi). Has anyone else run one? How did you train for it? And since I've started running I've been SO HUNGRY! I'm probably not eating adequately for lunch as at 2pm I am hungriest and have 3ozs carrots and 2tbsp peanut butter and remain pretty hungry.

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