The half marathon, 13.1 mile race is an endurance challenge and will take beginners 3-4 months of dedicated training following a structured plan to be race ready.
You will need to start slowly, gradually increasing your weekly mileage to allow your body to adapt and get used to running. It’s important to be patient when starting your half marathon training as it will take time for your body to build up the capacity to handle regular runs and increased distance without breaking down. In order to prevent injury and niggles, you must also incorporate strength and mobility work. A few key exercises are mentioned in our previous blog here.
Keep it structured
This beginners training plan aims to gradually build up your total weekly mileage by completing 3 runs a week, two short and one long run that pushes your distance beyond the others. You will also incorporate one to two days of strength training to help prevent injuries. Weeks 12, 13 and 14 (5-3 weeks before the race) will have the highest mileage leading into the final two weeks before the race where you will start to taper down your mileage. Recovery sessions are also included to help your body adapt, reduce soreness and get your body ready for the next training run.
If you haven’t ran or exercised for a long time and the thought of running a whole mile without stopping seems like an impossible task, you can run/walk in intervals to cover the distance. For example, start by using a 1:2 or 1:1 ratio, i.e. run for 30 seconds: walk for 1 minute or 30 seconds. You can gradually increase this to 1 minute running, 1 minute walking and build it up as you feel able to.