Monday, November 7, 2011

Half Marathon Training - Where do I start?

Written by: Nicole Blomgren
November 7, 2011

There are so many great resources out there in so many different formats to get you started training for a Half Marathon.  Whether you're just starting out or aiming to reach a PR for the year, there is a plethora of factual information and great training plans from experts in the running industry out on the internet and found in book stores.  Other than looking for the perfect training plan for yourself, here a few tips to get you started in your planning.

Planning, for one, is a very wise decision.  Making sure you are healthy enough to get out their and start running is important.  If you're not sure, start with a check-up visit to your doctor.

Next, set achievable goals for yourself.  The secret is not to overdue it.  Setting unachievable goals can set you up for disappointment for the year and throw you off balance or cause injury.  Start with small achievable goals and raise the bar after you achieve some of your smaller goals.

Additionally, I suggest to all of you runners out there is to start a journal.  Looking over your progress from various years or seeing your improvement over the months is both rewarding and also a good resource to look back on to see what works for you.  Not every individual is the same, nor does any individual have the exact same goal, nor the same training availability time in their lifestyle.  You may try training a specific way one year, and try something different the next, and realize from your journal something worked better for you and revert back.  Also if you keep a food journal as well, you may identify a pattern of better diet for your performance as well.

And lastly, have fun!  Mix it up a little and don't burn yourself out.  There are many other forms of exercise other than just running that can help you with your performance, such as yoga, group strength training classes at your gym, snowshoeing, hiking in the mountains if you have that luxury of where you reside, x-country skiing in the winter, swimming, cycling, and many other forms forms of exercise of which there are too many to name.

Resources to start could be a coach, online training plan, online journal (there are some good ones out there), an endurance nutritionist (great for getting you on the right running diet), or simply joining a running club to be amongst many others of many levels of expertise which can be great camaraderie and motivation.

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