Tag Archive for: running tips

We’re here to help if you’re not sure when you should start training for your half

Congratulations on deciding to train for your first half marathon. Or congrats on returning for another 13.1 miles in pursuit of your PR. Either way, you should start training at some point. But what’s the optimal training timeframe for your goals? Reaching your goals requires dedication and a high level of discipline. Before you begin, take into account your current fitness level, running history, and goals. 

Give yourself enough time to train for your half marathon.

Every runner is unique with different skills, abilities, and training needs. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to prepare, but not too much that you experience runner burnout. Our advice will get you going and provide information on when you should start training.

When you should start training

Most half marathon training plans are 12 to 18 weeks long. If you can comfortably run three miles without stopping and you’re 12 to 18 weeks away from race day, you should start training. At first, try to run 3-4 days a week. As you progress, bump it to 4-5 days a week. This is where you build your base and introduce your body to what you’re about to ask it to do. As you build your endurance and stamina, slowly increase the mileage of your runs.

Add cross-training for 1 or 2 days per week to reduce injury chances and strengthen your body. Swimming, cycling, elliptical training, and yoga are excellent cross-training methods. Don’t forget to rest when your plan calls for a rest day. And listen to your body! If it’s telling you to take a break or pull things back a bit, then do it. You’d rather miss 1-2 runs or workouts than get injured and miss 1-2 months. Skipping rest days is a simple training mistake all runners should avoid.

Build mileage slow and steady

The right amount of training will help you achieve your goals.

If you’re a first-time runner following a longer plan, allow for the first 10 weeks to build up your mileage safely. In a 10-week training program, gradually build your mileage from about 15 to 30 miles. The idea is to increase your mileage by 10 percent every week for injury prevention and optimal improvement. The trick is to gradually introduce your body to more miles so that it gets stronger over time.

Introduce a healthy diet during training

Whatever plan you choose to follow, pair it with eating healthy and hydrating properly. How healthy your diet can be is completely up to you, just like when you should start training. But just like proper training and slowly increasing your mileage, a healthy diet will make things that much easier. You have to give your body the fuel it needs to run the miles you want it to run. And you have to hydrate effectively and replace the electrolytes you’ve lost during training. Get started with these 9 healthy and easy-to-make breakfasts.

There are numerous half marathon training plans that you can choose. Every runner is different, but it’s important to remember the newer you are to running, the earlier you should start training. Remember to include a wide variety of runs, add cross-training, and give your body the rest and recovery it needs.

Learn how cross-training is beneficial and can help you become a more balanced runner

Whether you’ve just discovered running or have been a runner for years, it’s important to know why cross-training is beneficial. This becomes more important for runners as they begin to train for their next event. You’ll need to build your endurance in a holistic and balanced way. Cross-training is beneficial because it can help you prevent injury, avoid burnout, and improve your performance.

Cross-training refers to any kind of training done to supplement your running. As a runner, you should use cross-training in combination with your running to achieve your goals. As a beginner runner, including swimming, cycling, weight lifting, and yoga can enable you to become a more balanced runner. Pro tip: if you’re crunched for time or can’t get in your run, these 6 exercises you can do anywhere will keep you on track.

How cross-training helps you reach your goals 

Cycling can help improve your run performance.

The main benefits of complimenting your running with cross-training include: 

  • Strengthen different muscle groups – This helps strengthen muscles that aren’t primarily used when running. Running is repetitive, using the same muscles in the same way over and over. Swimming is excellent because it eliminates the pounding of the pavement and provides a complete body workout. It might sound funny, but building strong glutes muscles can give you a better runner’s butt and improve your form! 
  • Improve cardiovascular fitness – Combine running with activities like cycling or rowing. That allows you to work on your cardiovascular fitness without logging a ton of miles. Adding activities like that allow you to continue working on increasing your endurance and stamina. Learn why many runners use cycling to improve their run performance.
  • Reduce the chances of injury – Cross-training can help prevent over-use injuries because you’re not using the same muscle groups repeatedly. These 8 tips can help prevent shin splints, a type of over-use injury. Unfortunately, injuries can happen at any time. But the more you become a balanced runner, the more you can reduce potential injuries. This helps you stay on track with your training! 

Cross-training for runners 

Yoga can improve your flexibility and lung capacity.

It’s no secret, the muscle groups in your legs are used the most during running. To keep progressing during your training, you should supplement your runs with different, targeted activities. If you run 3-4 times a week, add two days of cross-training to your plan. During those days, choose something that enables you to strengthen the muscle groups that running alone can’t. If you don’t have access to open water, a bike, or a yoga studio, trail running can work. The terrain alone will slow down your pace and not allow you to just “turn your brain off” when running. Yes, you’re still running, but you will use your muscles differently than road running and the ground will provide a softer landing for your joints, bones, and muscles.

Running is a great way to improve your physical well-being and overall health. But running by itself is just one piece of the puzzle. That’s why you should add additional activities to your overall training plan. Cross-training is beneficial and will positively impact your training, pushing you closer to your goals.