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10 weeks to train for half marathon

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:25 pm
by Heidi-Paris
Hi all,

I’ve started running for the first time in my life this year - had a period of running in the beginning of the year (longest run 9k), then a couple of months of almost no running, and then the last 3 months I have been steadily running 5k 3 times a week.

Inspired by the VFW I have now registered for the half marathon in London 28 October. That’s 10 weeks away and I’m trying to plan my training programme. I have no target time, I just want to make it to the finishing line :)

After browsing through the other topics I still have a couple of questions:
- In many sample training programmes they include 4-5 runs per week. Is this necessary? Would it be enough to do two shorter (around 5k) runs and some strength training (body pump/free weights) during the week, and a longer run during the weekend?
- My long run this weekend will be 7 or 8 k and I will add a 1-1,5k each week. Does that sound about right? How long should my longest training run be and when should I do it? A week before the race? Two weeks?

Thanks in advance for your advice!

Heidi

Re: 10 weeks to train for half marathon

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:28 pm
by skoptic
Hey Heidi :)

Glad you're feeling inspired and enjoying the running! So there are no hard and fast rules, as it kind of depends what you want to get out of the half marathon. (i.e. just finish / keep running all the way / get a specific time etc)

The 4 - 5 runs per week will help get the body used to doing more miles and this will help you on the day, but you don't have to do that. Doing 3 runs a week like you say is OK.. but I would suggest that over the 10 weeks, you should try to build up one of those weekday runs to be longer than 5k (which is just under a quarter of the race length). This will prepare you better, but I've seen people do Half marathons on less (they just look like they are bit less prepared on the day ;))

So the race is 21k - you don't need to have run that far before race day, often people get to about 15 - 17k in training and then raise their game on race day to get to the end! People also tend to leave 2 - 3 weeks to 'taper' (wind down before the race).. so you could do your longest one 2 weeks before the race, but don't do it any closer.

10 weeks is not a long time to prepare for this - it's totally achievable, but you have to be a bit careful. If you have just started running - the general rule is not to increase your mileage (either the weekly total or individual run distances) by more than about 10% each week. Everyone is a bit different, so there can be some wiggle room in those figures, but injured people miss races, and non-injured people carry on training and racing and being happy!

Happy running - which 1/2 is it in town?

Re: 10 weeks to train for half marathon

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:43 pm
by Heidi-Paris
Hi Skoptic,

Thanks for the advice - I've now drawn up a training programme with 4 runs a week, slowly building up the weekday and weekend runs, with a peak 17k 2 weeks before the race :) In addition I will be doing some strength training, swimming and normal walking to the office.

The run is Run to the Beat and I will be running for Oxfam (anyone interested in sponsoring, let me know :D).

Wish me luck on my first "long" run tomorrow - will be doing around 7k in the morning before the temperature gets to 34C!!

Heidi



Heidi

Re: 10 weeks to train for half marathon

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:19 am
by Heidi-Paris
A quick update!

I've been doing around two 3.5-5.5k runs + one around 8-9k run + one progressively longer run each week since the start of my "training programme". I've also aimed for 1-2 gym sessions a week but have not been very good at keeping to that.

A couple of weeks ago I had a persistent flu which really sapped my energies and stopped the running for a week or so but I got pretty well back to my training programme. At some point I was running really slow to try to keep to the "correct" heart rate zone - turned out to be a bit of a mistake as it put a lot of pressure on my knees. So I have resolved to run at a speed that feels comfortable and not care about the zones. Maybe after the half-marathon I'll work on my heart rate (!?) :)

Last weekend I did my longest run so far, 16.5k. This weekend I'm aiming for 17/18k and that will be the longest training run before the race. If anyone wants to meet up for a meal in London sometime Sat 27-Mon 29 Oct, let me know! The race is on the Sunday.

And finally, I have set up a fundraising page so please do donate http://www.justgiving.com/heidikivekas :)

Re: 10 weeks to train for half marathon

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:53 pm
by Heidi-Paris
I did it - finished my first half marathon! With a final time 2:18:51 I was 9099th :D

Re: 10 weeks to train for half marathon

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:13 pm
by silver
Congrats!

Re: 10 weeks to train for half marathon

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:45 am
by Konstantin
Well done!!

Do another!

Re: 10 weeks to train for half marathon

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:51 pm
by Heidi-Paris
Thanks! I might do the Paris one in March :) Anyone want to join?

Re: 10 weeks to train for half marathon

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:48 pm
by Linnéa76
Good job Heidi!!