Exercise! - Training for half marathon - advice

08-28-2008, 01:16 PM
I need help, Chickies! Little back story -- last April I started walking along with an at-home version of WW. I don't go to meetings. I have dropped some weight and have turned my walks into jogs. I can do five miles no problem. I do this about four times a week. In October I am signed up to do a 10K. This one I am not worried about.

After that, however, I would like to try a half marathon, which leads me to my big question:
Any tips on how to train for this? Maybe you know of some good books or can give me advice from personal experience. I would even love to know how you came to be a runner.

Thanks for reading,

08-28-2008, 01:58 PM
Have you looked into the c25k program?


I'm quasi training to do a triathalon, maybe sometime next year (maybe).

08-28-2008, 02:09 PM
I'm also going to begin training for a half marathon for next September. I bought this book that looks like it will be pretty helpful -- I don't have it with me at the moment, but I will post the title and author tonight. i was flipping through it yesterday (I just got it yesterday) and in addition to a schedule, it has a lot of info ab recovery, technique, etc. Anyway, I'll post the title and author later.

Personally, I'm considering beginning by doing and completing the C25K program FIRST and then beginning the half-marathon training this winter. But you already basically run 5k's so I don't think C25K will bring you anything new.

I also found a marathon training website that offers you a bit of a running schedule to follow (for a full marathon, but of course you can adapt it to a half).

08-28-2008, 07:53 PM
One of the more recent Runners World magazines was a half-marathon special. I would go digging at the library.

I just try to run 3-5 miles 3-5 times a week and build up one of my runs into a long run by increasing a half a mile a week or so and try to hit a 10 mile run a few weeks before the race.

09-01-2008, 07:50 PM
Hi Mamaspank! If you go to runnersworld.com and look under training, there are links to a variety of half-marathon training schedules. Typically, a training week consists of 3 or 4 running days, one of which is a "long run". Most beginner training schedules have you increasing your long run by one mile per week increments, until you reach 10 or 12 miles. Since you already have a 5 mile base, a half marathon should be very doable, given sufficient preparation training time.

Other links that you may want to check out are Hal Higdon's training web site which has great beginner info (www.halhigdon.com) and Jeff Galloway's web site - he is an advocate of using run/walk intervals for training and racing (www.jeffgalloway.com). Also John "the penguin" Bingham, has great stuff on his web site (www.johnbingham.com).

I love half marathons, it's my favorite race distance. I did a full marathon once, but that was just too much for me. It got to be way too much like work, my knees started bothering me, etc. But a half marathon is enough to be a challenge to train for, but not so long that the training takes over your life. I call it .. all of the fun, with less than half the work! You still get to participate in a big event, get all of the crowd support and entertainment fun, AND a shiny medal at the end. :carrot:

If you are comfortably running 5 miles, 4 times per week, you can absolutely train for a half marathon. And once you do one, you may find that you're hooked!!!

09-01-2008, 10:02 PM
Thank you guys for the advice! MBN, I just spent all of yesterday in the hospital wondering if I would be able to bounce back with the enthusiasm I had before I became ill, and having your words and advice, I am definitely going to do it. I can't wait. I saw your pics -- very inspiring. I have to say, having a fitness goal like a half marathon has helped a lot with my weight loss. Just a little icing on the cake, so to speak.

09-02-2008, 06:42 AM
Great, I'm glad! I find that setting goals is essential for keeping me on the exercise track. I'm not just exercising ... I'm training. It gives me a different perspective and helps keep my motivation going. I always have something I'm striving for, and that keeps me going back for more.

One of the things I appreciate so much about the running community is that it so beginner-friendly. When I first started (at over 40 years old!), I was a "back of the packer", run/walking, barely making 12 minute miles on a good day, just happy to finish something that I had never dreamed I could accomplish earlier. And you know, I was right back there with others just like me, enjoying the process and just trying to do our best that day. It doesn't matter how fast you are, what's important is that you're out there doing it. As I lost weight, I found that I got faster, and now I'm a "mid-packer", running sub-10 minute miles in the half, faster for shorter races. But I still just go out there do to my personal best that day, and am grateful that my health allows me to do that.

I've read several books on marathoning, but one that really inspired me early on was John Bingham's "The Courage to Start". He describes his journey from couch potato to "adult onset athlete". I could so relate to his story. His emphasis is on the benefits of participation, speed doesn't matter. His favorite quote is: "The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."

Have a great week!

09-02-2008, 11:51 AM
"adult onset athlete".

Love it :D.