Are you planning on running a half marathon for the first time? These tips will help you prepare!

Don’t Start From Scratch

When you decide to run a half marathon, you should already be running consistently. The 12  week plans you find for training normally already assume that you’re running on a regular basis, with a mileage base of 15 to 20 miles. You should be able to easily run at least five miles.

If you haven’t been running on a regular basis, your body will have to acclimate to the distance as your train. Unfortunately this often overwhelms you body and causes injury. You may need to find a longer training plan, and sign up for a half marathon further in the future if you don’t already have the necessary running base.

Choose (and Stick to) a Plan

Most half marathon training plans range from 10 to 16 weeks. A longer plan is better because it allows extra time in case you get sick or busy because of of work. You should especially consider a longer plan if this is your first half marathon. The available plans vary in their structure, so you should choose one that fits your schedule. For example, you may not be able to run every day. If so, don’t select a plan that suggests it!

Settle into a Routine

After you choose a plan that works for you, the next step is to settle into a routine. Vary the lengths and speed of your runs. Don’t burn yourself out! On days you aren’t running, you should cross-train. Swimming, cycling, and using the elliptical machine are all great aerobic exercises. Core exercises with light resistance will help you keep good running form during your half marathon.

Buy the Proper Gear

Before you run the half marathon, you should make sure that you have all the gear you’ll need. Shoes are the most important. Some speciality shops help analyze your running style to help you choose the best shoe option for you. Don’t run the half marathon in clothing you’ve never worn before. Make sure you test everything, even socks or earbuds, to make sure you’ll be comfortable for the entirety of the race.

By selecting and implementing a plan that works for you, and preparing for the race with any necessary gear, you’ll make your first experience with a half marathon a good one!