Competition Tips

Half Marathon Training: Guide to Optimal Preparation

Completing a half marathon is a beautiful and motivating goal that not only tests your physical abilities but also your mental strength. In this article, we delve into the world of half marathon training and provide you with valuable tips on how to prepare optimally, prevent injuries, and unlock your full potential.

What is a Half Marathon and why exactly 21.0975 kilometers?

A half marathon is a long-distance race covering a distance of 21.0975 kilometers – which, as the name suggests, is exactly half of a full marathon. This distance provides an excellent opportunity for runners to familiarize themselves with long-distance running without immediately tackling the full marathon distance.

Preparation and Training: when should you start?

Preparing for a half marathon requires careful planning and targeted training. At running.COACH, we recommend a preparation period of 12-16 weeks. This gives you enough time to build your endurance, improve your speed, and mentally prepare for race day.

How many training sessions per week are ideal?

The optimal number of training sessions per week depends on your current fitness level, your goals, and your lifestyle. A balanced training regimen includes 3-5 sessions per week, ensuring that there is enough time for rest and recovery. Adjusting and gradually increasing the intensity is crucial to avoid overtraining and injuries.

The following table should help you find the optimal number of training sessions:

Beginner Jogger Intermediate Ambitious Professional
Improve performance 4 4 5 8 12
Maintain performance 3 3 4 5 7
Just for fun 2 2 2 3 3

If you plan to increase the frequency of your training sessions, it is essential to do so gradually and thoughtfully. The recommendation is to increase the number of training sessions by a maximum of one unit per week – and only once every six months. This approach allows your body to gradually adapt to the increased workload, significantly reducing the risk of injuries and overloading.

Which training sessions are essential?

For a half marathon, a mixture of different types of running training is important:

  • Intensive Sessions: Once or twice a week, depending on your experience and fitness level.
  • Long Run: Once a week to improve your endurance. The duration should vary between 60 and 120 minutes.
  • Regeneration Runs and Endurance Runs: Fill the remaining training days to establish a solid foundation.

Distribution of training sessions throughout the week

Planning is everything! Intensive sessions and long runs are key to success, but be sure to schedule recovery days or light endurance runs between these challenging sessions. This ensures the quality of your training remains high.

The easiest way is to let running.COACH automatically generate the plan. This way, you will also receive a suggestion for the optimum training pace.

Preparation Races

To prepare yourself as best as possible for your half marathon, it is recommended to participate in one or two test races over shorter distances, such as 10 km or 15 km. These races serve as a good benchmark and help refine your race strategy.

  • 3-4 preparation races spread over the last 16 weeks of preparation.
  • Last race 14 days before the main race, maximum 10 km.
  • Race distances increasing towards the main race, final race shorter. For example, 5 km, 10 km, 15 km, 10 km, and main race.

Training with a Plan

running.COACH offers you the opportunity to create an individual and dynamic training plan tailored to your needs. Take advantage of this opportunity to elevate your training to the next level and prepare optimally for your half marathon. Try running.COACH for free and become part of our running community!

Create with running.COACH a customized and dynamic running training plan that optimally prepares you for your running goals based on your current fitness level. Try running.COACH free for two weeks after your first login!

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