How to Train for Your First Half Marathon

So you’ve been bitten by the running bug, have you?

Maybe you started running because a friend cajoled you into your first fun run. Or maybe you started running for weight loss and got hooked on local races in your city.

After the novelty of racing 5K and 10Ks wear off, you may be left thinking ”Ok, what’s next?

Before you jump into marathon training, you may want to consider your first half marathon.

The half marathon is the fastest growing race distance in the United States. According to Running USA, there was more than 2 million half marathon finishers in 2014.

RELATED: 13.1 Tips for Running Your Best Half Marathon

More runners are flocking to the 13.1 mile race distance for good reason—it’s the perfect blend of endurance and speed. The distance requires new runners to build their fitness substantially, but the training required to run a successful half marathon isn’t nearly as grueling as for the marathon.

Your first half marathon can be completed with just a few “upgrades” to standard 10K training. If you’re ready for a new challenge and want to take the next step with running a longer race, the half marathon is the race for you.

What Makes Your First Half Marathon Different

Most beginner runners can finish a 5K with just a few weeks of consistent running. After a 5K gets easier, just another month or two will get you ready to finish a 10K.

But the half marathon is different: at more than double the distance of a 10K, it requires greater focus on endurance and long runs than shorter races.

You might have been able to “fake it” through a 10K race, but that will be virtually impossible in a half. Training should be taken seriously and approached with care.

But don’t worry, most new runners can successfully run their first half marathon within 6-9 months of starting to run.

With a focus on two key training components, your first half marathon will be a smashing success.

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