Recently, half marathons have grown in popularity. It has become a racing choice by millions of runners since it gives a lot of runners the satisfaction of finishing a marathon without the strain of running double the distance. Hence, for new runners who want a good endurance challenge, a half marathon is the ideal starting point.
However, if you are a new runner who wants to start with a half marathon, don’t recklessly jump into it without preparation. There are certain things that you need to do and consider first for you to be well-prepared. Hence, to help you with that, in this article, the following are 13 things you need to know and do before running in a half marathon.
1. Run For A Reason
“Why am I doing this?” you should ask yourself. In this marathon, your response will be your greatest motivator. Runners run for various purposes, including weight loss, fundraising for a cause, and achieving a personal best.
2. Train For At Least 13 Weeks
Training for at least 13 weeks can help you increase your weekly distance, long run, and training. For beginners, adding less than a mile to a weekly long run may prepare you to cover the distance on race day comfortably. Once you’re in good enough condition to run a half-marathon, you may cut your training time down to approximately ten weeks for your next one.
3. Buy Two Pairs Of Shoes
Two pairs of shoes may help prolong each pair’s life by allowing enough healing time. Purchasing two pairs of running shoes may be a costly financial commitment, but the return on investment can be spectacular. It can be an investment for your training.
4. Find A Half Marathon UK Training Partner
Please don’t do it alone; training is more effective when done with a partner. A training buddy can keep you accountable when the miles mount up, and the workouts become more complex. Moreover, find a running partner who is faster than you and allow them to challenge you to improve your speed.
5. Plan A 5K And A 10K
Running a 5K can keep you physically fit and motivated at the same time within three to four weeks of preparation. These warm-up events also allow you to practice your race-day routine before your half marathon, which may be nerve-racking for inexperienced runners.
6. Run-on Various Surfaces
Don’t get stuck in a rut while running. Attempt to vary the surfaces on which you run. Running on the road may help you strengthen your legs and improve your racing rhythm while running on the treadmill can help you dial in your speed with laser-like accuracy. Don’t be scared to attempt new things.
7. Get Fast First
Focus on getting fast. If you are a beginner, try running shorter distances while increasing your speed. The faster you got in a 5K and 10K run can help you control your racing speed. Furthermore, running like a 5K/10K runner may help runners increase their speed.
8. Race Pace Practice
Many runners may prepare for a marathon and then lament that they could not complete the 13.1 miles at their target speed. However, perfect practice makes perfect! In the weeks leading up to race day, tempo runs into your weekly routine. Before the event, runners may also perform interval training at race speed.
9. Fuel Experiment
Before race day, it’s critical to test out several feeding and hydration methods. If you don’t intend on bringing supplies, learn which sports drinks and gels will be available on the race route and practice using them. It will help if you don’t have an upset stomach after the race.
10. Don’t Overdo Long Runs
When it comes to preparing for a half marathon, one of the first exercises that comes to mind is the long run. Long runs are an essential part of any half-marathon training program, but they may be overdone. To prevent overtraining, divide your training into three-week cycles.
11. Study The Course
In the weeks preceding your target event, learn all you can about your selected race route. Is the terrain mountainous or flat? Is there a lot of turning and twisting? These are all essential things to be aware of before race day.
12. Train Your Mental Muscle
Being mentally healthy enables your physical fitness to show on the racing track. In training, visualize the race day: see yourself achieving target speed, consuming nourishment, and planning how you’ll react when your legs start screaming at you to quit. This can help runners improve their mental fitness.
13. Run Negative Splits
Negative splits have been used to set almost every UK half marathons world record ever set. One of the difficult things in racing is the first two miles when you are 10 to 15 seconds slower than your desired speed.
If you’re considering running a half marathon, go for it! It’s a beautiful experience, and you’ll have a tremendous feeling of achievement when you’re through. Training may seem overwhelming at first, but take it one week at a time.