5 Things to Do When Starting your Training for a Half Marathon
You will need 3-7 hours a week starting today (at least 8 weeks but 12-16 is better). If you realistically don’t think you can do that then there is no need to read on. If you are not sure and thinking well…I may but maybe not…Do it, make the commitment! You will have a blast and be glad you did.
1. Honest Self Assessment
This step is the base and foundation that your training plan will be created. Ask yourself questions such as: How is my cardiovascular training? How much do I really do? How many miles a week do I run? Do I have any injuries or a history of injuries? What if any is my history with running and half marathons? How much time do I want to give to this endeavor?
2. Motivations and Aversions
This ties in with the question above but deserves its own bullet. Write these down and ask yourself why you want to do this race. Do you want to get fit? Do you want to loose weight? Has running always appealed to you but you never tried it? Do you want to be a part of a really fun local event? Do you want to find a community dedicated to running and fitness? Is it part of your spiritual practice? Do you have a time you would like to run in the race? Do you just want to have fun (yes running is fun)? What motivates you? On the flip side it is good to try to predict the resistance you might face. Why have you quit the gym in the past? Do you worry you won’t have enough time before work, energy after work, or motivation to keep going? What discourages you? The sooner you can see these pessimistic thoughts and negative behavior patterns coming (we all get them) the better prepared we will be to confront them with our motivations. This section will help keep the running fun, keep you motivated from the inside out and prepare you for those challenging days when you need to train but don’t want to.
3. What Physical Activities do you enjoy?
Do you swim, hike, play rugby, go to the gym, practice yoga, or sit on the couch? If you are least somewhat active in some kind of activity you enjoy then suss out what you like about it. Is it the camaraderie, is it the deep breathing, is it the repetition, is it the solitude, is it the rush, is it the discipline? This will help us keep it fun and we can incorporate your existing activities into your program. We want this to be sustainable.
4. Get a Training Plan and Coach.
Join your local running club or join an online group. Runners World and Active have good resources. RRCA has a certification program for coaches (Road Runners Clubs of America)
5. Do some Internet Research, Join Clubs, Friend and Follow Runners
Join our event on Facebook and like our pages (Santa Fe Thunder event and page, Global Running Culture)
Join the local chapter of the RRCA and like on facebook. Go to the Running HUB (Local running shoe store) Maybe do this first before #1. It might give you an idea of who is out there running and why. Books such as “Born to Run” and “Running with the Buffalos” are highly recommended. Runners World is also good. There are many online programs and training suggestions out there. Do some research. Ask me questions. Also don’t do anything that seems questionable that you find on the interwebs without running it by your coach and community first. Post what you find to the group.
Goodluck, Santa Fe Thunder Team