Your first half marathon – vital info

Vital training, nutritional and race day advice

This guide to your half marathon run will help make sure you get the best time possible and that you enjoy race day.

Your first half marathon – vital info: Training

The best way to approach your training and achieve the endurance needed to complete a half marathon is by lots of regular running. This means trying to run at least every second day.

Vary your runs – instead of running the same distance, try running longer in one run and shorter in the next. Obviously, for a half marathon your longer runs need to gradually increase to somewhere near the 21k distance (although if your goal is simply to finish, most people can get by with regular runs of 60 minutes).

Your first half marathon – vital info: Remember to rest

Most people think that long-distance running is all about mileage. It’s not!

The key is actually rest – your body doesn’t adapt while you’re training it, actual adaptation only happens if you allow it to recover from the stress. Adaptation means improvement, so in the long term the well-planned application of this stress and rest will allow you to handle more training. A half marathon training plan should help you get enough rest.

Your first half marathon – vital info: Race day preparation

When you finally get to the day of the event, it is essential establish a race day routine.

In the heat of the moment it’s easy to overlook small things that can make for big disasters, such as forgetting to drink or to apply your race number. So make a checklist that includes everything from running gear to what you eat and even when you’re going to go and relieve yourself. That way you won’t forget anything and everything will be in its place.

The half marathon is a wonderfully achievable challenge that is both a useful stepping-stone to the marathon and a worthy end challenge in itself. The secret of course is endurance; few sports rely on endurance more than running.

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