Getting Started: Half-Marathon
Have you registered to run the half-marathon in the Lehigh Valley Health Network Marathon for Via? Have a safe, fun racing experience by getting ready now.
Most half-marathon training programs are 12-16 weeks in length. To begin a training program, you should be running regularly and should have established a "training base," the foundation from which you will begin your training program.
The training base usually consists of a gradual buildup of "easy-pace" miles. "Easy pace" refers to a pace that allows you to carry on a conversation with a running partner for the entire run. Easy-pace running helps create important physiological changes in your circulatory and musculoskeletal systems that will pave the way for success in the upcoming months.
Preparation is key
When it's time to start your formal half-marathon training program, you gradually should have worked your way up to:
- A weekly long run of 1½ hours
- A few 40-50-minute runs per week
This may sound like a lot of running, but if you begin preparing now, you will have plenty of time to build up to this level of training. This early work paves the way for success in the last few miles of the race, which can be tough. You will be glad you started now!
It's important not to rush through a training program. The best way to stay injury-free is through a gradual buildup in training stresses. You risk injury if you begin a training program late and try to "catch up" by running too much, too soon.
If you think it will take you more than 2 hours to finish the half-marathon, consider training for the race using a marathon training program. Many marathon training programs help you reach maximum speed and efficiency over a 2-3 hour time period of racing.
If you're looking to run faster than 2 hours, follow a specific half-marathon training program that emphasizes speed and lactate threshold training. Lactate threshold training is the maximum effort your body can produce aerobically, using the most efficient sources of fuel available in your body with the least amount of lactic acid, a waste product that ultimately slows you down. If you have already established a solid training base, 16 weeks is ample time to prepare for a half-marathon. A 16-week training program will allow you 10-12 weeks of high-quality training followed by a tapering phase, which should produce the most desirable results.