Half Marathon - Help!

Updated on March 31, 2010
M.R. asks from Gilroy, CA
14 answers

Any moms out there have advice on training for a half marathon. A friend wants me to join her in this 13+ mile run in 5 months. I am not sure how to train. I do some treadmill jogging/walking, but I don't know if 5 months is enough time to be physically ready for such a run. Any advice? I currently walk/jog 2 miles 4 to 5 days per week on a treadmill. I have done no "stree" jogging.

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answers from San Francisco on

That is great. When I trained for a 1/2 marathon I used the book Marathoning for Mortals. It was helpful and easy to follow. The most I had ran before that was 5 miles. Good luck in training.

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answers from Phoenix on

Hi There,
Good for you. I ran my 1st 1/2 marathon in January and am planning on running the full in January 2011. I bought a training guide on-line to help me prepare. The training guide has you running 4 days/week and it is a 4 month schedule. It does say though that you should be able to run 30 minutes prior to starting the training. If you would like to send me your email address, I would be more than happy to email the book to you. Good Luck with your training! I really enjoyed my training and all the benefits that came with it, like less stress, better sleep, losing weight and the finish the race was pretty great. I would also suggest signing up for a smaller race or two before the big one. It will prepare you for what it is like. The Pat Tillman 4.2 mile race is April 17th.

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answers from Dallas on

I highly recommend that you do some street jogging. Make sure you have the right shoes for your feet. If you will be wearing shorts, you may want to get a product callled "Glide" to put on your thighs and the insides of your arms to avoid chafing.
Since that will be your first, don't get excited and start out too fast--pace yourself.
If you would like to know about the sports nutrition that many olympians use, let me know.
Good luck and have fun!



answers from Detroit on

Yes, you can do it! Just get a good plan in place. Also, if you can, and have never done races before, I would suggest signing up for a couple other races prior to the event, a 5K and/or 10k. I had about 6 months to train and I found that doing a couple races prior kept me motivated and made me feel more prepared. Doing races has been the best motivation for me and I can't believe how much I love running now. It is so fun to run with a friend and completing it was the best feeling ever! Don't worry about how fast you go but go for it! Good luck!
Oh and once you do street running, you will probably do everything you can to not go back to your treadmill. Getting outside for running is one of the best parts of it. I couldn't believe I was actually willing to run in 30/40 degree weather rather than go on my treadmill.
Some websites to checkout:
www.mapmyrun.com (you can map out any distance you need to run in any area)
www.runningintheusa.com (to find races)
http://www.runnersworld.com (you can create custom training plans based on the amount of time to your race and effort level)



answers from Sacramento on

You can check out active.com. It's a great resource for events in the area as well as having lots of articles on training and such. You can also type in google "how to train for a half marathon" and you will get tons of helpful articles on the best way to build yourself up to the event.



answers from San Francisco on


5 months is plenty of time to train! With no previous training...I started running 4 PAINFUL! miles a week in August...and in December I finished the Honolulu marathon. Keep up with your 2-4 miles a few days a week and cross train, do stretches etc. Then, one day a week do a "big run". Start with 5 miles and add a mile every week or couple of weeks. As your endurance goes up, up your weekly mileage as well. Make sure to keep hydrated and eat well. Listen to your body, take time off if you're getting shin splints, or sore hips...make sure you have good shoes. Go to a good running store and get fitted if you haven't already done that.
There are lots of great running books out there too that show sample schedules for training...also online.



answers from San Francisco on

The most physically well and fit I've ever felt was when I training for my first half marathon, so I would definitely recommend it!

Good shoes are a definite must. A good running store will make recommendations after looking at your feet and your gait.
Just don't run the race in new shoes.

I started by googling "half marathon training schedule." I found websites full of tips and tons of resources. There are a variety of schedules you could use. I chose the one of beginners, which increases your mileage in a very do-able way and made the training process much more manageable for me.

A lot of people join running groups for comraderie and motivation, but I love running by myself and having that quiet time.

However you do it, good luck!!



answers from San Francisco on

Awesome! Good for you!

You have more than enough time to train.

Yes, get good shoes. Go to a running store and have yourself fitted.

Hal Higdon has great training schedules online - they are usually about 12 week schedules. Here's the novice one, but there are others:

Gilroy is a little far from San Jose, but if you're interested, San Jose Fit is just about to start their training season: I trained with them a couple years ago for my first half.

Also, you can do a search for training schedules on some fitness magazine websites (maybe Fitness, Health, Shape, etc.). I actually just saw a half marathon special in a recent issue, but I get them all and I don't remember exactly which magazine it is.

Good luck & have fun!



answers from San Francisco on

Just wanted to throw out there - in addition to getting properly fitted for shoes, get a good bra while you're at it. They're pricey, but well worth it. Most running stores now carry a wide selection. I can tell you I'm partial to the Moving Comfort brand, but there are many good ones out there that are more than just a tight piece of spandex to smash you down.



answers from Fresno on

5 months is more then enough time. Most people start about 16 weeks out to train for a marathon (26.2 miles). You can goolge good training programs just type in "training for half marathon", also look at "Runner's World" magazine they have lots of tips. Get out on the street and start running/ walking, it is different, a lot more fun, I find tread mills mind numbing. But it is a bit harder physically and only increase your milage 10% a week to avoid injury. Maybe you can find a running group, ask at a local running shoe store. Sounds like a lot of fun, enjoy



answers from Sherman on

Good for you!!! I ran a half Sunday after having only 7 weeks to train so you can DEF be ready in 5 months. Before starting a training plan head to the nearest running store and get yourself fitted with approriate shoes. Then I would suggest only 1 treadmill run per week...do the rest outside. Start with doing 2-3 days of your normal 2-3 miles and then 1 long run a week...start with 4 miles the first week. Increase your long run by 10 minutes each week. After a few weeks switch one of your easy runs to a fast pace run and one to running hills. Then start adding mileage to your short runs...3-5 each run plus one long run a week. Be sure to stay hydrated and have FUN!!!



answers from San Francisco on

Way to go! 5 months is plenty of time to train for a 1/2 marathon. As mentioned below good running shoes are key. I would definitely find a running store or go to Road Runner's Sports (on-line). Also having a good stretching program is a necessity along with some core/glut (think butt here) strengthening. You want to protect your knees and feet and the best way to do that is maintain your flexibility and keep up your core/glut strength.

There are lots of training approaches out there but one that would fit with your current approach of walk/jog is the "Jeff Galloway" training method. Here is the website: http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/half_marathon.html

In addition to be an Independent Consultant with Arbonne International I am also a physical therapist so if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask. Good luck!

C. B Palmer



answers from Los Angeles on

Awesome! Good for you! I love running/jogging but I do the 5K or ½ mile kids run with my kids. My husband runs the L.A. Marathon every year and he says the best training he gets is when he runs outdoors because he is running slopes, hills, turns…stuff you can’t do on a treadmill.
I totally ditto Brandy C. too about doing a couple of smaller races before.

Check out this site for races in your area, tips and advice:





answers from Sacramento on

I just did my first half marathon this month and trained for about 3 months beforehand. www.runnersworld.com is a great resource with training schedules and tons of information on hydration, injury prevention, etc. Generally, to train, I ran on the treadmill 2 times per week for about 50 minutes - one time at a moderate speed and the other in high gear. In addition, I cross trained (ideally twice a week) doing the eliptical, bike, yoga, or a class at the gym. Then on Saturday mornings, I did a long run ranging anywhere from 5 miles to 11 miles (max). The first time I ran all 13 miles was at the race and I did it in 2:25! It was quite an accomplishment. Another suggestion would be to go to Fleet Feet. They also have many training programs and are able to teach you all the basics. Especially important are the right running shoes, hydration, and injury prevention. You can sooooo do this!! You have plenty of time! Good luck!!

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