There are many people who get encouraged by their friends to join a marathon and find it fun at first, but start lamenting why they registered for the event in the first place as they participate in the event. This is mainly caused by the lack of proper preparation for the event. With appropriate training and preparation for a marathon coupled with the desire to participate, the event will not only be easy to accomplish, but also full of fun. Since training is an essential part of the event, for both new runners and experienced runners after they have been on an extended break, this article will touch on the 8 week half marathon training to help you prepare for the event.
8 Week Half Marathon Training Sample Workouts
Workout #1: 4 Miles Running
This workout should essentially be aimed at covering a distance of four miles at 10:10 to 11:00 pace (which means it takes about 10:10 to 11:00 minutes to finish one mile). However, you may also go out of this recommended pace and ensure that you are comfortable throughout the run. Carrying out this workout frequently will help you adopt a constant pace that will help you complete the race.
Workout #2: 6 Miles Running
After you are comfortable with the four miles workout, you should advance your training and start using the six miles workout.
To start with, you should run the first two miles to warm up for the workout.
After warming up, you should run uphill for 30 seconds at 7:30 pace and then run slowing downhill as a rest before continuing uphill for 75 seconds 8:20 pace, then walk down rest. You should then slow down and run for two miles to cool down. Repeat this process for 6 times.
During this workout, you should try to master your running posture and try to apply it in other workouts in your 8 week half marathon training schedule.
Workout #3: Day Off
Rather than attempting to simply recover physically from the training, the resting days should also be aimed at staying mentally fresh. As such, it is advisable that you engage in other activities or some plus training that you find enjoyable during your off days.
Workout #4: 8 Miles Running
After a couple of weeks of training, you should try out the eight miles run workout. The objective of this 8 week half marathon training workout is to make your running pace more comfortable and natural.
For this workout, start with a two-mile run to warm up for the workout. You should then run a distance of about four miles at the pace of 9:15, 8:50, 9:15, 8:50, after which you should slow down and cover a distance of about two miles. This workout will make you switch paces to a bit faster than goal paces so as to enhance your aerobic fitness and strengthen your muscular pattern.
Workout #5: Crosstrain
This workout is rather easy and will take between 30 and 45 minutes of your time. With crunches, you can train the stomach muscles and strengthen the oblique muscles. Hips, back and obliques are just as important as abs to make you fit for the marathon.
Rules to Follow
Developing and preparing your mind for the marathon is among the most important things you should consider doing prior to the event. Many runners are highly motivated at the start of the training, but lose their morale during the training. As such, you should have the right mindset during the training and the race.
Throughout the 8 week half marathon training, you have to clearly understand your training goals. For instance, you may be training to lose weight, win the race or finish the race. The goal you have will determine the most appropriate workout for you.
Wear the Right Gear
To avoid injuries and unnecessary fatigue while training for an upcoming marathon, it is highly advisable that you use wear the right training gear, such as a pair of comfortable and suitable shoes.
While training for a marathon or half marathon, you should also pay a close attention to the food you are taking. This is mainly because the energy requirement by the body will increase significantly over this period. Basically, about 65 percent of body energy should come from carbohydrates, 20 percent from unsaturated fats and 10 percent from proteins. This implies that you need to take a balanced diet during the 8 week half marathon training period.
As much as you need to train adequately for the event, it is also important that you give your body time to recover from the fatigue. As such, you should take a day or two off the training schedule in a week to relax and allow the body to recover.
Running, just like any other exercise, dehydrates the body. As such, you should consider carrying some drinking water or a sports drink when going for the marathon workouts. The recommended water intake while training for a marathon is 6-8 oz after every 20 minutes of running.
It is important that you steer away from injuries in redness for the marathon day. Since injuries may creep in without you knowing, it is advisable that you take time off the training schedule to ice any form of soreness you may be feeling, especially on the shins and the knees. This should be done about four times in a day to prevent the condition from worsening.
For you to be considered capable of training, you should be able to run for about 30 minutes without stopping. However, speed is not important in a marathon, but the distance you can cover without stopping is. Regularly training for the marathon will make your body used to running for a long period without resting.
- While training for a marathon, you should avoid increasing the distance you cover in a day drastically for the first few weeks, as this can easily discourage you or result in injuries. Instead, you should cover manageable distances either walking or running. You may even take walking breaks after running for a while.
- Rather than running to win, the goal of this 8 week half marathon training guideline is to help you finish the race. As such, you may also adopt the run/walk strategy throughout the training period and even use it on the material day.
- If you are overweight by more than 20 pounds or are above 40 years of age and are not used to any form of exercise, you should first consult your doctor before starting the 8 week half marathon training workouts.
- You should consider scheduling your training activities and include them in your to-do-list to ensure that you find time for them.