Running a half marathon is no easy task, no matter if you are an experienced half marathon runner or a beginner. Not only does success depend on your physical endurance but on your mental endurance too. A half marathon is a distance of 13.1 miles and it's imperative to complete the run successfully if you are fully prepared.
We have some great tips for you here, that will help you make the most out of your half marathon running experience, no matter what running level you are at.
Find Your Motivation And Reasons For Completing The Run
This is really important. It doesn't matter if you have completed 20 half marathons, or this is your first one, motivation is key to completing the run. It doesn't matter what your motivation is. You may choose to run and get sponsored for a cause that's important to you, or perhaps you want to complete the 3m half marathon and beat your own personal best time. You may simply want to prove to yourself that you can do this. Whatever motivation you have for taking part in a half marathon, be aware of it and remind yourself constantly of your reasons why you are doing this. Not only will knowing your reasons keep you motivated but it will help your mental stamina during your training and during the race as well.
Start A 20 Week Half Marathon Training Schedule
Hard-core half marathon runners sometimes think they don't need to train for this period of time before a 3m half marathon, but the fact is, a 20 week half marathon training schedule not only ensures that you are prepared but it gives a structure to your training as well. For first time half marathon runners a 20 week half marathon schedule is crucial if you want to be physically able to complete the course. The best way to carry out a 20 week half marathon training schedule is to start the first week by running four times a week at a distance of four miles each run and then every week increase the distance slightly. After around six weeks, you can then start to run five times a week but never attempt to run more than that because your body needs time to rest. The goal is by the end of 12 weeks you should be running well over 13.1 miles and can then focus on building up your speed.
Rushing this process and not following a 20 week half marathon training schedule can result into not beating your own personal best time or for beginners it may even mean, you don't finish the half marathon on that very day.
Take Part In A 5K and 10K Run Before The Half Marathon
This is another important factor to consider. If you take part in a few smaller races before the actual half marathon, it will boost your self-esteem, give you a good indication of your running speed and show you if you need to improve in certain areas before the main event. There is nothing better than proving something to yourself because it will give you a boost for your half marathon training and keep you optimistic, that you will be able to run the 3m half marathon, complete the course and if relevant, finish in a personal best time as well.
Build Up Your Speed Slowly
This goes without saying really. The only way to build up speed is to do so slowly. During your 20 week half marathon schedule build up your speed slowly. This is the only way to ensure you will have the necessary stamina to maintain a consistent speed throughout the half marathon. You need to learn to run at a speed that your body can cope with and a speed which will help you to finish the half marathon in any personal time you have set for yourself.
Know The Running Course Well
It may not be possible to actually run the course itself. But get to know the course layout as well as possibly you can. Most half marathon courses have interactive maps so you can see exactly what route you will be taking. This means you can prepare for any parts of the route that are uphill or require extra care and diligence. If it is possible then do try to run it during your training. The experience will prove invaluable and prepare you for the actual day of the race. These tips will really help you to prepare for the 3m half marathon as much as possible. But the most important thing is to enjoy the experience and to complete the race. Then, you will be ready to prepare for the next one.