Half-marathon training plan for the best perfor-mance

A thorough preparation and a good half-marathon training plan are essential for a good performance on the next competition. Here are some useful tips for the preparation!

03.09.2019

Half-marathon training plan for the best perfor-mance

More and more of us run and participate in running competitions. But do we know exactly how we should appropriately prepare for each competition? We are flinging with the numbers that we are through the 10 km so next time we will do the 20 km, because the one who can run this much can also run that much. But do you feel the same when you are running too? Do you really feel between 15 and 20 km that there is only 5 to go, and it’s a piece of cake for you?

Half-marathon is a distance that requires earnest preparation, and which not everyone undertakes to do, not even those who regularly run. This distance requires work, both from the body’s and from the mind’s part, not only during the competition but before it too. If you have not yet run a half-marathon and you are planning to do your first — or you have, but you did not feel it was the real thing —, then read on, maybe you can find some tips here for the preparation!

There are a numerous half-marathon training plans that can help you, but you should always focus on gradually increasing the load! Check how much time do you still have until the competition day, how much time you are able to spend on preparation, what is your body’s physical state, and whether you had any injuries recently. Create your own, personalised training program!

This is what you will need for the half-marathon

This is what you will need for the half-marathon

Some people do not really know the importance of doing exercises for the sake of their health, but it is not the only thing to concentrate on. In order to run longer distances for a longer time, you will need the proper running shoes. You should also think about choosing the right sportswear, particularly when running in wintertime. It is also practical to prepare for the rain by a raincoat especially designed for runners.

Plan about three run training sessions per week for a period of 4-6 months, and — if you are a beginner, starting off without much overweight and health problems — you can be rewarded by the medal for completing the half-marathon!

Running shoes and sportswear

Always look for running shoes in the appropriate specialist shops! These shops are specialised for this. Here, they check your style, the shape of your sole when you run, and offer you the type of shoes accordingly, in order for you to be able to protect the health of your ankles, knees and hip.

It is also important in terms of sportswear that they should be made of materials that make it comfortable to do sports, and you should also choose its cut accordingly. The half-marathon course lasts for more than half an hour, let it be any type of weather circumstance you might face, make the exercise comfortable. Make sure you have the proper clothes for hot weather, wind, and rain.

When you run in hot weather it is important to protect your skin against the sun, and you should also see to avoid the clothes that chafe your skin as a result of sweating. When it is raining, it is important not to let your body cool down, because it has a negative effect on your joints and muscles. Your sportswear should be made of a comfortable material that drains perspiration, especially when you run in the summertime!

Conscious nourishment

The half-marathon is a duly long course that requires correct nourishment in order to avoid hunger, but neither a stomach problem, nor a digestion disease should exist during the course. During the trainings, it is worth giving it a try how does your body respond to different nutriments.

During the course of a half-marathon, you should make up for the loss of nutriments, minerals and liquids in every half an hour.

Moreover, it is recommended to ingest the proper nutriments not only during, but even before running in order to recharge your muscles with energy. Usually the night before bigger competitions so-called “pasta parties” are held, where racers charge their bodies by eating food rich in carbohydrates.

On the competition day, make sure you do not eat foods containing a lot of fat or sugar, because if you did so, these would lie heavy upon your body. Drink enough liquids — non-carbonated mineral water — in order to set out for the distance hydrated.

During the course of the competition you might consider taking nutriments that you can easily access, and that are absorbed quickly and easily. Gels, isotonic beverages and any type of supplements of sports requiring stamina especially made to this end are of perfect choice, but on refreshment points you can always find muesli bars and banana, too.

Motivation

Motivation

My sport psychologist once made a very important remark:

“There is one thing, nor I can help…and it is nothing else, but the lack of motivation.”

If you are motivated, you can take the course like a hungry wolf: the fervently hoped half-marathon, namely 21097,5 metres. And now, I am going to take on my slightly tortured running shoes and get done with today’s distance.

What may it be that pushes us forward when others lie down on a sofa after a substantial Sunday lunch?

We would like to meet the requirements we set for ourselves, or that of set by others, it can be the achievement of the sympathy of a pretty woman or a handsome man, or, a serious resolution and a change of attitude.

It is important to maintain your motivation both during every run session, both along the long-term preparation. But what can you do if your enthusiasm flags, if you are not in the mood of setting off, if you would have a better programme, or maybe if there is a bad weather. How can you still persuade yourself to run?

  1. Favourite music: if you like to run while listening to music, it is time to make a new selection, to buy new headphones, and to try how good it is to run while listening to new music in good quality while enjoying nature around you.
  2. See yourself reaching the target, and increase the distances, as well as the time spans accordingly when you run, in small steps, by setting short-term targets. Imagine it in front of you when you cross the finish line, the moment you are rewarded by the medal, and the feeling you have when you have reached your goal, you have done what you have planned to do!
  3. When you are getting tired, concentrate on the amount of preparation you have done, and that there are only minutes separating you from reaching the target. Listen to the events happening around you, to the people and the runners, and encourage yourself that you can do it, you are capable of doing it! The sport fans and your relatives standing by the side of the road are also breathing courage into you. Have a snack on the refreshment point, drink some sips of isotonic beverage and feel it as they swing you over the dead point!

Half-marathon training plan – prepare for it according to the following!

In case you start the trainings in good health, without any locomotive or circulatory disturbances, after you have done appropriate warm-up, cool down and stretch, then you might be able to prepare for the half-marathon course starting from scratch, by doing 3-4 running sessions a week for a period of 4-6 months. However, it will be a hard task and you will need to work consistently to make it happen. Motivation will, and concentration are important, as well as adhering to the training plan.

Warm-up and progressivity are of crucial importance during the trainings, as well as systematic structure, proper stretching and relaxation after trainings. Don’t be too hungry at the beginning, keep being motivated and the work will fructify. Many people swear it is good to complete the given course at least once before the big day, but I do not regard this as an entirely good decision.

Reach 80-85 percent of the chosen distance on the course of your longest session, hereby you will know where you stand on.

Warm-up

Warm-up should last for 10-15 minutes. Hereby, you can prepare your body and mind for the run; circulation, greasing of the joints, and nutrition supply of the muscles start up. Start it with SMR foam rolling and go on with gymnastic warm-up that should include dynamic stretching exercises.

Get into motion every joint starting from your ankles, through the knees and hip all the way up to your waist, shoulders and neck. Let’s thoroughly prepare every muscle and joint for the load and get your mind also ready for the distance facing you.

Think it over where the run will take place, what kind of circumstances can be expected (weather, track conditions), let’s get prepared with every piece of essential equipment — like the flask, a key-case pocket, headphones for the music, tissues, a certain amount of cash for the case of an emergency, and some bites of food or energy gel.

If you have not yet tried to take nutritional supplements when you run, then it is worth checking why and how you can use energy gels, because they can boost your performance and help regeneration.

Running workout

The workout itself might either include continuous running or technical training by carrying out different exercises, or perhaps the combination of these two. Some people only like continuous runs that is a perfect method also for those who do it as a hobby.

However, if you would like to improve your technique, time and tempo, or if you experience joint problems, then it is worth thinking about trying different preparation methods, too. You can carry out pace runs, do the interval method, you can work on your movement pattern, landing, or take-off, but it is also possible to strengthen core muscles during a separate workout, in order for you to be able to run as efficiently as possible.

Stretching

Stretching

This part is aimed at restoring the tired, burnt out muscles, and it also helps to prepare for the subsequent workout. In case you do not stretch, muscles will regenerate with more difficulty and less quickly, and they might get injured more easily.

The stretching part should last for at least a quarter of an hour, it can include SMR foam rolling, followed by static stretching exercises while standing, sitting or lying, if there is a possibility to do so. Carefully stretch every muscle and do not only concentrate on your legs, as your upper body also works during when you run! Stretch your calves, the thigh flexing, thigh bending muscles, your gluteus, but your back and shoulder as well!

For maximum efficiency make every stretching exercise last for 20-30 seconds!

As a conclusion, you might pay attention to the following in terms of preparation

  • It is enough to run 30-50 km a week throughout the preparation period.
  • Progressivity and temperance are important.
  • Make sure to follow a healthy lifestyle, and a low-sugar, low-fat diet.
  • Acquire proper running shoes from a specialist shop.
  • Collect sufficient motivation, be prepared mentally!
  • Never forget this: stretching, stretching, stretching!

Make sure you set out to kilometres-long distances gradually, or extend the span of your run-time, leave enough time for your body to regenerate, namely, provide your body with sufficient time of rest. Enthusiasm is a good thing, but do not go into the extremes, do not begin with running every day, because it will soon result in an injury.

Pay attention to your diet and acquire every important piece of equipment essential to maintain health, like good running shoes, sportswear, and proper meals.

It is also useful to keep exchanging the running and strengthening workouts, because the two will have a perfect result by complementing each other. If you can do so, chose a ground with tartan running track that is gentle to your joints, or, run on a natural ground; concrete should only be the last resort.

We wish you a successful preparation!


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