Half Marathon Training Plan – The Basics

Jul 11
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A half marathon is exactly what it sounds like, a road race that consists of half the distance of a full marathon. That distance of course is 21-kilometers or 13.1 miles depending on your preference of either the metric or imperial system of measurement.

It should be noted that world records for the half marathon are now ratified by the International Association of Athletics Federations, the international governing body for the sport of athletics.

Half marathons have been growing consistently in popularity over recent years due to the fact that it encompasses a challenging distance for runners while half marathon training plans can be less intense than those plans required for a full 42-kilometer marathon. Usually half marathons are held in conjuncture with full marathons, using the same course layout but starting at a later time. This allows runners who are either not yet ready, or have no desire to run a full 42-kilometer marathon to compete in a long distance run.

As mentioned above training for a half marathon is typically less stressful than that of a full marathon simply because of the notable distance between the two. Usually people interested in running or competing in full marathons start out participating in half marathons because it’s an excellent preparation for both the heavy physical and mental stresses placed on the body during such and incredibly long distance run. Training plans can vary and we’ll discuss them in much more detail in the following post.

Generally speaking training for a half or full marathon consists of about twelve weeks of training, each week building up endurance. Of course this is just a broad generalization as people’s training needs vary considerably. The main idea is to build up cardiovascular endurance along with mental stamina and perseverance over the set training period while tapering off about a week or two before the race or event. This of course is to eliminate the chances of injuries prior to the race.

For those aspiring runners who have never run any serious long distance but want to get into running marathons the marathon is of course the logical answer. It should be noted that for absolute beginner runners, this plan might be too daunting which could lead to injury or straight up frustration with the sport. That being said there is always 5km and 10km runs to start out with before progressing to a half marathon. In the next post we will look more closely at various training plans and how to properly select the one that best suites you.

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