TIPS FOR TRAINING FOR A HALF MARATHON

Am only making at Julia's request (see the last but not least tip on my list!)
  1. Get your head examined
    Jk. Sort of. The 10k training is easier to fit into your busy life. But maybe you've already done that or it just doesn't sound macho enough. Not that a half sounds as turbo as a full. But it takes time to train for, so at least check your calendar.
  2. Work up to running about 22 miles a week
    That's over seven days, not at once. You're not supposed to add more than a mile or two each week. Calculate how long it will take you to get to that from wherever you are now, add two or three weeks for slacking insurance and pick a race.
  3. Pick an inspiring race
    Making it meaningful or fun or both will keep you motivated.
  4. Start running
    I need to run four days a week to get those miles in. Don't worry about pace or anything else, just commit to making your number every week at first. Do something else at least one other day, like biking, swimming, weights, or walking, sanity-related.
  5. Bend and Stretch
    Adding to the time suck, you must make time for this before and after every run and maybe do some yoga classes too. It's annoying. But I've never had even a minor injury so am a believer. And, btw, am taking for granted that you are running in decent shoes and expensive magical socks.
  6. Do One Long Run Every Week
    This is the most important one. Work your way up to at least 12 or 13 miles in a single session before the race, depending on if you want to go the full distance ahead of time. You will be mentally useless (but in a great mood) for at least an hour after this run, so must account for that time in your schedule.
  7. Run Uphill
    Run hills once a week. They should be punishing enough to feel in your glutes and quads as soon as you start. Time is not important. Do repeats. You will feel like a pathetic loser doing this and then like a warrior on your next regular run, which will seem 50% easier, every time.
  8. Do Sprints
    Once a week, do a speed work session, either with a stopwatch or by distance at a track. Alternate going anaerobic with a light jog in 10, 20, or 30 second intervals for as long as you can stand it. The good news is this one is usually short. I'd rather do hills, which is really saying something. But did this once a week.
  9. Music is Fuel
    I need it for anything over six miles. Experiment around with playlists, headphones, etc so this is all seamless for your big race. You can really geek out online about music for pacing if you like that kind of thing.
  10. P.S. You will not lose one pound
    At least I didn't. I didn't gain anything either, though, despite feeling entitled to eat and drink like a wild animal every time I ran 10 miles. So that's something. And you might build and tone leg muscles but this will be offset by the fact that you are probably slacking on other forms of exercise during this training. Just warning you.
  11. Do it Anyway
    You will feel disciplined and kick ass. And will enjoy the unexpected pleasure of waking up in the weeks after the race NOT worried about getting your miles in. Until you sign up for the next one.
  12. Try Not to Become a Horrible Running Bore
    No one wants to discuss any of this with you. Really. Except other runners, who will become your new best friends. But don't torture everyone else.