The second part of our blog gives you tips on how to train for your first half marathon. We are going to talk about quality over quantity and the virtues of selecting your training regime carefully.
Quality over Quantity
In the part one we looked at increasing your VO2 Max level and the benefits this brings, also your lactate threshold should be increased as this will help you build up resistance to fatigue. Tempo running can vary greatly in speed and distance. You may want to include race pace tempos at this stage in your training, this is the pace you intend to run the half marathon, it will be slightly slower than a 5K pace. Increase your distances running at race pace, and these runs should always start and finish with a one mile warm up and a cool down session.
Sometimes you will have the urge to run faster than your race pace, resist this urge, teach your body that you can always use extra energy at the end of the race. Do this by finishing the last one or two miles faster just before your cool down mile. Your maintenance runs should be short, about five miles, these are designed to keep your body ticking over and are ran at a slow pace.
Make time in your schedule to do non-running type training, aerobic training is the best as well as some light resistance gym work. Swimming and cycling are also excellent and are great forms of cross-training, this type of activities are good to help fight off fatigue while you are running.
Train in a Group
Training with friends or in a group can really help, when you skip a session you will be missed by your training buddies, so you are less likely to do so. This is especially true with the early morning run, if your friends knock on your door at 7am you are more likely to get up and go running than staying in bed. Having running buddies also is great to spur each on, to encourage and give support.
Research the Race
It is good to know the course and if possible run it a couple of times to get used to its nuances. Also find out what drinks are available during the competition, train using that particular brand of sports drink. Failing this plan to have family or friends on the route with your own personal food and drink. Don’t be tempted to use a sports drink during the race that you have never tested before.
Just as important than all the training program is rest. Your body needs rest to recover and repair itself after strenuous exercise. Don’t be tempted to skip rest days, you may feel in tip top condition but skipping rest puts pressure on the body to recover quickly.
If you feel lethargic for no apparent reason check your resting heart rate, if it is high then you are most likely over training and an extra day of rest is required. These tips should put you in the perfect condition to run your first half marathon, now go out there feeling confident that you are fully prepared and in prime condition to run your first half marathon.