How Long Does It Take to Train for Your First Half Marathon?

How Long to Train for Half Marathon

The duration of time required to train for a first half marathon is dependent upon several factors. But one of the reasons for the popularity is that most people are able to compete within a comparatively brief period of time – frequently no more than 3 months in their first occasion.

The notion of running a complete, 26.2 mile marathon is something which is incredibly daunting for most of us. On the other hand, the proliferation and huge amounts of people of ages that have participated in them, reveals how achievable they’re for normal folks.

The basic thought of training for any occasion is what’s called progressive overload. Start with what it is possible to do. Many beginners probably haven’t run in years, although many people may be able to run. In which case the people should begin with walking.

Woman Running on Bleak LandscapeYou might think that walking will not do you much good, but for those who haven’t participated in any kind of exercise for some time you, walking for 30 minutes a day every day of the week will begin to make noticeable differences to your body in only a couple of weeks. You will have the ability to go and still not get out of breath. And you’ll probably begin to lose a couple of pounds, as long as you’ven’t started treating yourself to a pizza every day as a benefit for all that exercise!

One of the amazing things about mass participation half marathons is that everybody is in exactly the same boat. Certainly there are the elite runners at the front who wish to establish a world record. But you probably will not see them except for on the TV highlights.

The substantial majority will be people just like you – who have a little enjoyable and wish to get healthy, maybe raising some money for their favorite charity on the way. They’re not so fiercely competitive that it becomes a drain. And the shared endurance, as well as cheering crowd of watchers, gives a truly life enriching boost. There’s no pressure to attain a special time, other than that which you put upon yourself.

Therefore, if the circuit to get round before the organisers put away the cones (generally 4 hours) most people can complete enough training in a couple of months. If you’re a bit more competitive and are aiming for 2 or 2.5 hours, 6 months should give you all the time you need to build up your endurance and speed, steadily each week. The world record will almost certainly take just a little longer, if you’d like to break it!

What’s a tried and tested, effective half marathon training schedule?

There are several effective half marathon training programs used by tens of thousands of runners around the world. Some of the most popular ones include Hal Higdon’s guide, and those from Coach Jenny Hadfield. If you’re a first-time runner, go with a plan that helps you ease into the regimen. Most beginner plans last at least 10 or 12 weeks.

Group of Runners

Is it dangerous to run a half marathon with insufficient training?

You should always consult with a doctor before starting a training plan or participating in any race. Depending on your physical condition it can be dangerous to attempt a lengthy race without enough planning and preparedness. However, for most people, it will simply be difficult.

Is 8 weeks enough time to train for a half marathon?

For many people, yes. Here is a guide to an intermediate-level training plan that lasts 8 weeks.

What should be the pace for marathon training if a treadmill is used for more than half of the training time?

Training for a half marathon on a treadmill is a great way to get in the necessary training time during the Winter or in areas where outside running is dangerous or difficult. The pace should be nearly the same as what you’re running outside.

How can I train for my half marathon in 3 weeks?

Yes, but you probably won’t be nearly as prepared as you would be with a longer training program. Most expert trainers recommend at least a 10 or 12 week schedule for first-time half marathoners.


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