How to Train for a Half Marathon

I’m not going to lie, I am getting a little amped up about training for my next half. So much so that I would be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted to sign up for another before the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February. While training is extremely time consuming, it is also incredibly rewarding. There is, however, a right way and a wrong way. Take it from someone who has done both.

Don’t Get Burnt Out

It’s easy to go full force into the training. Whether you’re expecting to hop out of bed and run 9 miles or want to “get the hard part out of the way” and take it easy after that – I hate to be the one to tell you this but you are doing it wrong. It’s important to realize your limits. As a general rule, if you can run 4 miles comfortably right now, you can run a half in no time. That isn’t to say it will take some time leading up to that distance! So pace yourself, both within each run and within your complete training.

Reward Yourself

What is it you’ve been itching for but can’t justify purchasing on a whim? Is it a gym membership at one of the trendy spots like Soul Cycle? Or are you more of a Lululemon fan who can’t muster up over $100 for a pair of running leggings? This time, I am going to get myself a new pair of running shoes. Not before I complete the half but after. That way, during all your training and the race itself you are focused on the reward ahead of you. Not one you impulse bought beforehand.

Follow a Training Schedule

But don’t beat yourself up if you take a day off. Like I said before, following a schedule keeps you on track to success and holds you accountable leading up to the big day. I found a tried and true one that I love so give that one a go. If it doesn’t look like your pace (hah – no pun intended) google it! There are a million different options.

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Hold Yourself Accountable

Is this your first half? Tell someone! But don’t do it until you’ve officially signed up. Once you sign up, its full throttle ahead and you’ll need all the “oohs & ahhs” you can get. It’s encouraging and makes you think of everyone you have told beforehand when you’re thinking about stopping 6 miles in.

Don’t Overestimate Your Abilities

Make your goal to finish – not to finish at a certain pace. How disappointing to think that you just ran 13.1 miles and are disappointed in your performance? Enjoy the run – don’t beat yourself up about it! The best feeling in the world is signing up for a corral back just to get that little extra encouragement passing those before you along the course. Please excuse the cheesy screenshot of this photo – it wasn’t quite worth paying $49.95…

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Make a Killer Playlist

It is beyond worth it to spend the time perfecting the art of the playlist. I will never forget when I was training for my second marathon and I hit the 11.5 mile mark of the course and like a sign from above 1000 Violin Orchestra came on. Go ahead and judge me for that one but before you do, I suggest you add it to your playlist. It’s a game changer.

Halfsies Playlist

Create Some “Staple” Training Courses

Having a good 3, 4, and 6 mile course is key. Whether you run it once and consider it a day or run a couple loops to knock out your 8 miler, knowing where you’re going and how far you have to go can make a difference. Sometimes it is good to create a new course but sometimes the reality of knowing what’s around you is even better.

What are your training tips?


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