Running a half marathon is a great challenge to aim for. 13.1 miles is a considerable distance and you will definitely need to train for it. Follow Sundried's training plan to get you to the start line feeling confident and excited about the challenge ahead.
Before You Start
Assess your aches
Where you ache the most can give hints as to how you run, depending on how you stride and how your foot lands will affect where you ache. It's hardly surprising that about 15 percent of all running injuries strike the foot—with each step, our feet absorb a force several times our body weight.
Forefront strikers land on the front of their foot, meaning their calves are under constant tension. Running with too much reliance on the forefoot and toes can cause muscle strain due to the additional work placed on the lower leg. If you are suffering from tight calves, try foam rolling to release tension and try to practice a neutral running stride on your next run, eventually as your muscles strengthen this will ease.
As a heel striker, you’re running technique places more stress on the skeletal frame, which can lead to aching joints and in particular aching heels. To compensate for this running technique if it’s causing you issue, you could try investing in a running shoe designed for those who run with a heel strike, these will have extra support and protection around the heels.
If pain becomes significant, you can try to gradually re-adjust your running technique. Start by trying to land further forward on your foot on shorter distance runs. Where the technique will be unfamiliar, it’s best to stick to shorter distances to avoid injury whilst your body readjusts. You could also try running in a barefoot running shoe, which will encourage you to run with more of a forefront strike naturally.
Half Marathon Training Plan
13.1 miles is a long way to run and puts a lot of strain on your muscles and joints. Depending on how fast or slow you run, you could be spending up to 2 and a half hours on your feet, so you'll definitely need to prepare your body. We recommend you do 4 runs per week, mixing in intervals, tempo runs, and distance runs. Combine the following 4 times per week for 6-12 weeks and you should be ready to tackle the challenge!
Interval runs are important for increasing your speed and agility on the run. They will also increase your lung capacity and heart rate capabilities so that you can improve your fitness and stamina. Your interval session can be anywhere from 20-40 minutes and can be done outside or on a treadmill. Sprint for 30 seconds at maximum effort, then slowly jog or walk for 30 seconds. If you feel like you're not ready to sprint again after only 30 seconds walking/jogging, you should still push yourself to go anyway. This is what will make a change to your fitness and will push your body out of your comfort zone.
Tempo runs are the perfect combination between a longer duration run and an interval session. Your tempo run can be anywhere from 20-40 minutes and should see you pushing at a speed that you can only barely maintain. You should be breathing heavily, unable to hold a conversation, and need to consciously keep pushing the entire time.
We recommend you save your distance runs for the weekend when you have more time. For a half marathon, your long run should be anywhere from 6 miles to around 12 miles in distance. The distance runs train your joints and feet for the strain of pounding the pavement for such a long time and time on your feet is a crucial part of the training process. Try to enjoy these runs, take it easy, and ease into the distances.
Top Tips For Running A Half Marathon
Strengthen the calves with eccentric heel drops. Stand with the balls of your feet on a step. Rise up on both feet. Once up, take your stronger foot off the step and slowly lower back down until your toes are pointing up to the ceiling and your calves are stretched, repeat on the other leg.
Remember to always run safely. This means remaining visible at all times, Sundried’s Ruinette tights feature reflective strip lining to the thighs to enhance visibility and a secure back pocket for valuables. We encourage you to wear high visibility clothing if you are running in low lighting conditions.
Listen to your body. If you are aching or you feel an injury coming on, take some time off until you feel better.