Training for a half marathon in 8 weeks

9 messages
22/08/2012 at 08:12

Heya, I posted this in begginers but have not had a reply.

I'm not sure if I count myself as a begginer runner as I usually run atleast twice a week. Averaging about 8 miles a week.

I want to train for my first half marathon which is the lloyds half marathon in Cardiff on 16th October 2012, which gives me roughly 8 weeks to train.  

I'm not sure if I could do it or not, does anyone have any advice for me and if possible, link me to a good training schedule please?

Thank you.

22/08/2012 at 09:05

Hi Stefan,

How long have you been running? what is your background? What are your runs like? Age? etc. Without this info - we can't really help or say yes/no. Ultimately - you're the only person who will know if you're ready.

There are plenty of training plans on here alternatively google Half marathon plans and you'll be overwhelmed with the choice. Hal Higdon is considered a pretty safe bet for new half marathoners.

Previously, it would take me 3 months to train for a half marathon (and that would be having a base fitness already) so you might be cutting it short - but I cannot say.

22/08/2012 at 09:30

There are several plans online - just put Google for: half marathon eight week training plan

There's an eight week training plan in Men's Running/Women's Running mags (September issue). The plan assumes you start off being able to run for at least 20 minutes.

I'd say you can do it, so long as you don't expect a quick time and you're prepared to go for a walk-run strategy if necessary on the day. Eight weeks also doesn't allow any time you might need off due to injury, so you need to be careful and don't get injured! Do much of your training e.g. in a park, on grass, not all on roads - that will reduce impact.

22/08/2012 at 09:37
Emmy_bug wrote (see)

Hi Stefan,

How long have you been running? what is your background? What are your runs like? Age? etc. Without this info - we can't really help or say yes/no. Ultimately - you're the only person who will know if you're ready.

There are plenty of training plans on here alternatively google Half marathon plans and you'll be overwhelmed with the choice. Hal Higdon is considered a pretty safe bet for new half marathoners.

Previously, it would take me 3 months to train for a half marathon (and that would be having a base fitness already) so you might be cutting it short - but I cannot say.

Thanks for replying Emmy, I have been running for about 2 years now but it has been on and off. I've been running for periods of about 3-4 months then I would stop completely for about 2 months or so due to things like exam period. 

I've never run in any event race before, so this half marathon would be my first and I'm really excited to train and take part.
I ran just to keep fit and healthy

im 21 and my runs are inconsistent sometimes. Most days I can run for about 3 miles without stopping but I aim to do atleast 4 miles maybe more each run including a  tiny bit of walking every half mile to regain my breath after the 3miles of straight running. 

I hope this is enough information

Also can you recommend a good diet for running efficiently. I try to have something like a bowl of pasta or cereal 2 hours before a run.

Lastly would you recommend running in the morning or night?

Thanks again  

22/08/2012 at 09:55

Debra mentions a lot of good points in her post.

You need to ideally train on the surface you'll be running the race on - e.g. tarmack, trails, pavement etc. The same goes to when you run - practice running at what time the race is. The time of day - depends on what type of runner you are. I prefer 5am but lots like to do it at lunch or in the evening.

I'd have a look for some 10k races between now and race day to assess your fitness and go from there. Ideally to avoid injury you should not increase distance by more that 10% a week and don't jump from 1 run a week to 5 immediately. Building up slowly and consistently is the key.

I'd move to the beginners section of the site and use the advice posted on there regarding building up etc. It's a wealth of info. If you're needing to stop to catch breath - you're running too fast; so work on slowing it down and keeping your pace steady and consistent. Ideally you should be able to hold a conversation at 'easy' pace.

Diet is such a varied topic that it's hard to give 'good' advice. Aim for balanced, colourful and not too much junk food. Also make sure you're hydrating with water/fluids etc.

22/08/2012 at 09:57
Debra Bourne wrote (see)

There are several plans online - just put Google for: half marathon eight week training plan

There's an eight week training plan in Men's Running/Women's Running mags (September issue). The plan assumes you start off being able to run for at least 20 minutes.

I'd say you can do it, so long as you don't expect a quick time and you're prepared to go for a walk-run strategy if necessary on the day. Eight weeks also doesn't allow any time you might need off due to injury, so you need to be careful and don't get injured! Do much of your training e.g. in a park, on grass, not all on roads - that will reduce impact.

Thanks a lot Debra 

22/08/2012 at 10:05

Women's Running had a no panic 8 week training plan in their September issue, that should still be on newsstands. It might be worth hunting out a copy.

J1M
22/08/2012 at 11:14
http://www.209events.com/file/256.pdf

I use these plans. Just pick the one that suits your current fitness and commitment level and complete the last 8 weeks.

Should be fine.
J1M
23/08/2012 at 19:58

Hi Stefan

I think you'll be fine, I've done it before in the past when I first started. Also it may just be a typo but I think the Cardiff Half Marathon is on the 14th October?

You definitely don't want to train for 8 weeks and turn up on the wrong day!

Also I don't know if othgers would agree but I wouldn't worry too much about diet if it was me- I'd just concentrate on the running. 

Edited: 23/08/2012 at 19:59

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