Making a plan for running in a ½ marathon is important so that you know what you are getting yourself into and so that you can be realistic and prepared with your goals. Here is how I prepare for my half marathons!
- Make a schedule of your normal week: Don’t include your workouts or runs in this schedule. Creating a calendar of when you typically work, have school, etc. will help you show where you have gaps for scheduled running times.
- Decide how many days a week you want to run: You have to be realistic. Don’t say you are going to run 7 days a week, because you probably won’t and probably shouldn’t. You need rest days for your body to recover. I recommend doing 4 days a week of running, and 1 day a week of strength training, yoga, or pilates. However, it is all going to depend on what fits into your schedule.
- Make your long run at the end of the week: Since you are trying to progress and add on miles each week, make your long run at the end of the week to see your improvement and distance increase. (Tip: In addition, try making the day after the distance run a recovery day.)
- Don’t JUST distance run: While only do long runs would help build your stamina, adding in HIIT (high intensity interval training) runs, as well as fast paced short runs (2-4 miles), you will be increasing your stamina faster, helping you prepare for the longer slow-paced runs.
- Know your races course: If the race you are signed up for is a trail run, or has a lot of inclines, you need to be prepared to train on a similar surface. Running 13.1 miles on a trail is not the equivalent to running 13.1 miles on pavement.
- Set time and distance goals: For each week, set a goal of times and distances you want to reach to build up to the race. I, personally, only set goals for my long run at the end of the week, but you can do it for shorter runs and HIIT runs as well.
- Invest in clothes: When running turns into an almost daily thing, you need to have good running clothes and, more importantly, good running shoes. My favorites are listed HERE.
- Invest in technology: Getting apps, watches, etc. to help you track your running progress are really helpful to see how you are doing. Using apps like MapMyRun are great for making maps prior to your run, and investing in a running watch that tracks your heart rate, time, and distance are even better.
- Look at training schedule examples that fit you: Don’t look at running schedules for advanced runners if you haven’t ran in two months. Look at the ones that are perfect for you! Here are examples of training schedules for: beginners, average, advanced, and competitive.
Here is my running schedule just so that you guys can see. I’m running a half marathon on October 13, so this will be what I am doing for the month leading up to it.