Beginner half marathon! (Read 163 times)




    I am looking for a challenge, something new that I can put my energy towards that will also be rewarding. I was thinking about training for and running a half marathon and was looking for some input from experienced runners!


    I have not done anything near running a half marathon and am new to running. However I did play hockey in high school (I am now 25) and ran the relay (5k each runner I believe) for a few years in middle school. Since high school I am embarrassed to say my regular exercise has dropped drastically and it goes in cycles how often I exercise, if at all. I am not overweight but am definitely not in shape. The last few weeks I have started running and it has felt great!


    My first question is - for a beginner like me, is 12 weeks enough time to train? I have done some research and have found some training schedules that recommend being able to run for 30 minute straight before starting. While I have not done this recently, I used to be able to run for 30 minutes and believe I will be able to this coming week when I try.


    My second question is about the training schedule itself. I work full time shift work (12 hours a day) and do not own a car to get to the gym so I am not able to follow most schedules exactly. Is it ok if I move the days around, provided I run the distances in the same order and do not run more than three days in a row?


    I am scared silly but also a bit excited of the idea of such a challenge! I am quite motivated, just wanted some input from you experienced runners before I start telling everyone an really make it real!




    PS. I should note that I bike to work once the snow melts - hopefully in the next month or so. Its about 30 minutes total. Will this help??


    Proboscis Colossus

      Welcome to running! Smile


      I'd say a 12-week program would probably be enough to get you across the finish line, AS LONG AS you don't have any big plans for a time goal your first time out, which I wouldn't recommend even if you'd been running for longer.  A longer plan might be better.


      Any reason you're set on a half-marathon right out of the gate?  Might not be a bad idea to run a few 5Ks and/or 10Ks, but a half...sure, not out of the question.


      It's absolutely okay to move days around, just make sure you give your legs some rest after really hard workouts...but as a beginner, I wouldn't recommend a lot of hard workouts, anyway.  Just work on building mileage (slowly, don't increase too quickly) and getting time in on your feet.


      I put it in parentheses above, but I'd like to emphasize: don't increase mileage too quickly.  The injury that can result from that has nipped many first-race dreams in the bud.

      "God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people


        i'd agree.  if you're motivated and follow a good plan, 12 weeks will probbly let you finish with your background.  if it's your first half marathon, i wouldn't be going for time anyways.  star with just finishing and work on bringing down your time from there.


          I agree. I think 12 weeks will get you to the finish line, but don't go into it with any time goal. I also think it might be best to start off with a 10k or 5k. However, my first race was a half marathon with minimal training (no training plan) and I finished without walking. My training consisted of biking to and from work Monday - Friday (10 miles total) and running on the weekends (3 - 5 miles each day). That being said, the last 3 or 4 miles of the race were absolute torture.


          Sure, it is perfectly fine to rearrange a training plan. Just don't put long or hard efforts back to back, make sure to have some recovery runs as well. Also, a lot of beginners train too hard and risk injury by running at race pace all the time. Be sure to mix things up. You should slow down when running a distance you have not run before. Then focus on speed for shorter distances you are comfortable with.

          Marathon: 2:48:49 (Boston 2014) - Half: 1:22:11 (Berkeley 2013)

          2x sub-24 100 mile finisher

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