If you've signed up for a half marathon, brilliant! Events are a great way to give focus to your training - and they're good fun too! If you're thinking about taking part in one but haven't quite committed, sign up today! Running a half marathon is a challenge but completely do-able, whatever your fitness levels. You just need to follow a training plan, like the one we've created below, and you will smash it!
This 12 week half marathon training plan is perfect for beginner to intermediate runners. It incorporates different running techniques and activities, all contributing to improving your strength, stamina and speed.
Speed Runs - A constant, fast run.
Hill Runs - Sprint up the incline and walk down the decline. Repeat.
Sprint Runs - 200-400 yard sprint, followed by a walk or slow jog. Repeat.
Tempo Runs - 10 minute easy jog. 5 minutes race pace. 5 minutes speed run. 5 minute walk. 5 minutes race pace.
Easy Runs - Sustain a relaxed and easy pace.
Long Runs - The longest run of your week, increasing in distance over the plan.
Other activities such as football, pilates and tennis feature each week to stop your training from getting stale and to help improve your overall fitness. Rest days also make up a vital part of this plan. They allow your body the time to recover from your increased exercise. Don't skip them!
Sticking to the plan will help keep you on track, provide you with achievable goals each week and will structure your training. As well as following our training plan here are some other tops tips you should take on board before you run...
Our personal trainer Simon has come up with the perfect running warm up to make sure you get the best out of your run. Never skip your warm up or your cool down. Warming up makes sure you don't injure yourself and helps to improve your performance. The cool down period post workout is also very important. It helps your body transition into a steady state of rest.
When it comes to race day, whatever you do, don't turn up wearing your brand new leggings and fancy climate changing top. You need worn in, comfortable clothing that won't rub or chafe.
Your best bet here is to go to a shop that specialises in running shoes. The staff will be trained in finding the best shoe for you and they will often analyse your running style on a treadmill to make sure you find the best trainers for your needs. A well fitting trainer will help you to avoid pesky injuries like blisters and shin splints. As with the clothes you wear, make sure when it comes to race day that your trainers are completely worn in and don't cause you any discomfort.
This 12 week plan can be followed outdoors or just as effectively indoors on a treadmill. However you choose to train, put in the time and effort needed and you will be ready to take on the half marathon. Try to take into account our advice and everything should...run... smoothly. Good luck and let us know how you get on!