10 Tips For Beginners Running a Half Marathon

10 Tips For Beginners Running a Half Marathon

September 03, 2018

Marathon training is a necessity! So where should you start? Print out a training schedule, crumble it up and throw it away, and eat peanut M&M's at your desk! Just kidding! Sorta! I hate doing a 5K so how the heck am I going to run 13.1 miles!? This summer I spent the month of June traveling. Technically I was gone for 5 weeks. In that 5 weeks I did not go to the gym at all. When I returned from my trip I jumped on the treadmill to get a run in and went 4.66 miles. I put a post up on Facebook talking about doing hard things and listening to my body and I attached a picture of my completed run. And this is what started the whole half marathon talk. I've always wanted to do a half marathon but I didn't really think I actually could make it. Several local friends commented on that post asking if I would do this half marathon with them to which I agreed! Eek what was I thinking!marathon training

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I'm 4 weeks into a 13 week training schedule to get ready for it. I've been doing three runs a week. 2 shorter ones and then a longer one. I also cross train at Orange Theory 2 days a week. I've been using the below training schedule and my half marathon is on Saturday November 3rd. My goal for this half marathon is not to die. My next goal is to complete it in under 3 hours (remember I'm not a runner).half marathon training schedule

There are a few things in my 4 short weeks I have come to realize are pretty necessary when training for a half marathon.

Tips For Marathon Training

  • Stick to a schedule

    • You want to make sure you are maintaining a marathon training schedule. I'm using the one picture above. However, you can find many variations on Pinterest. Now some of the girls doing the half marathon with us are not training. They may do a 7 mile run every few weeks and some are just going to wing it the day of the race. I don't recommend that because that is when injuries can occur. There is also such a thing as OVER training. Don't do that. Give yourself rest days as well. I had 2 friends that trained so hard they broke their pelvises. Find a schedule that works for you and try to follow it as closely as possible.
  • Stretch

    • My first few weeks I did not stretch after my runs and the next few days I would be super stiff in my legs. One day last week I decided I was going to stretch my legs and use the foam roller. By the way I hate the foam roller because it's like rolling on concrete, it hurts. However, the next day I felt amazing and there was zero stiffness in my legs. As a matter of fact they felt pretty darn good. Not stretching will increase tightness allowing muscles to pull on your joints causing pain. So stretch. Your body will thank you for it.marathon training Photo Courtesy of Lipstick Lifestyle
  • Roll Your Feet

    • One thing I have noticed is pain in my feet. It's not my sneakers because they are new ish. I am a heel striker. So when I run I land on my heels rather than the balls of my feet. Recently I purchased the foot roller pictured below from Kohls and I really like it, however, you can use a golf ball or lacrosse ball for the same effect. I keep it under my desk and roll out my feet while I'm working and my feet are no longer tight and they are not bothering me.marathon training
  • Cross Train

  • Buy New Sneakers

    • How old are your sneakers? For me I can go just about 3 months on a pair of sneakers. Anything longer than that I can feel pain in my feet and back. I know for me as soon as I start feeling that familiar pain in my heels it's time for new shoes or that pain will travel up into my back. Now with that said don't wear brand new sneakers the day of your marathon. You want to break them in a bit so you don't bet blisters. marathon training
  • Use a Runners App

    • Use a runners app or a smart watch to track mileage and pace. I personally have a Samsung Watch and use that to track heart rate, mileage and pace. However, there are plenty of free apps noted here that you can use.
  • Get a Massage

    • A massage sounds heavenly! A few days after your race get a massage! First off you totally deserve it for all your hard work! A massage will relax your muscles and help alleviate pain. Some studies have noted that massages can reduce inflammation, improve immune function and reduce stress hormones. marathon training
  • Have a Rest Day

    • Rest is vital! You need to give your body time to recover! Rest days help strengthen our body and mind as well as rejuvenate our spirit! Each time you exercise you tear down those muscle fibers and you need to give your body time to repair them.
  • Carb Load Before Your Race

    • And not I'm not talking about eating candy and other sugar filled carbs. Reach for things like bagels, pancakes waffles, yogurt which are all easy to digest and will give you energy for your race. Avoid things like creamy sauces, cheese, oils and too much protein since these take longer to digest. It's best to start carb loading 2-3 days prior to your race and if you are a scale watcher stay off the scale during this time!
  • Heart Rate Training

    • There are 5 zones for your heart rate. This is where a smart watch comes in handy so you can track your heart rate. A great way to work on heart rate training is with HIIT training. HITT training is HARD but so worth it! In my area I do HITT training at Orange Theory and we have HIIT classes available to us at our local community center.
      • Zone 1: 60-70% warm up and cool down. You can easily carry on a conversation
      • Zone 2: 70-80% You will spend most of your time here. You can still speak in sentences but it is a bit harder.
      • Zone 3: 81-93% This is a comfortable but hard effort. You are getting uncomfortable and its harder to speak. You will be speaking in broken sentences.
      • Zone 4: 94-100% Very hard effort and you can only speak a few words at a time.
      • Zone 5: This is a very tough pace and you can only maintain for 30 seconds to 2 minutes. This is your all out sprinting pace. marathon training

My first half marathon is going to be in November and I have been training but I'll be honest I'm still pretty nervous about it! I can feel my body getting stronger every day though. I'll be running in the Snow Canyon Half Marathon and the view is to die for amazing! If I can answer any questions please don't hesitate to send me a message!

marathon training Snow Canyon- Southern Utah


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