21.1 Kilometers... Thousands of Runners... Millions Miles Per Second of Adrenaline Rush... One Race & One Target - That’s the Magic of a Half Marathon
A Half Marathon is the ultimate test of your speed, stamina, and strength. Want to know more about how to train for a half marathon? Let’s sprint towards it!
The Distance of a half marathon is 13.1 miles, which equals to 21.1 km. Half marathons have become popular among masses and the participation has been steadily increasing. One of the reasons for half marathon becoming popular is its fair distance and the level of training it requires in comparison to an actual complete marathon. The distance is long enough to keep the race challenging and fair enough to complete with a quick recovery afterward.
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There are many half marathon races that are organized around the globe. Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM) is one of such events. ADHM is an annual event that was started in 2005. Since 2005 till date, this event has been attracting thousands of participants. The latest Airtel Delhi Half Marathon is just 5 days from now – November 20,2016.
So have you geared up to torque your way to the finish line? Here are few tips on how to train for a half marathon.
Train Your Mind First
This is probably this first hurdle for most participants. The phobia of running a long distance is not a good sign to start your training. 21.1 km is not a cake walk for sure but it’s certainly not like crossing a river of fire too. So train your mind to accept the challenge in a positive way and you will see that 21.1 is just another number.
Build A Base
For every durable structure, you need a solid base. And the same holds true for a half marathon too. So, start running 3 times a week. And the target should be to run at least 15 – 20 km every week with an average of 5 – 7 km at a stretch. Missing any one of the targets, may not build your stamina the way it needs to be, at the time of the race.
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It is very important that you keep adding miles to your target sprints. This can happen every week or even alternate weeks, but you need to be decisive and focused once you commit to it. For example: if you start with your daily running target as 5 km, then you can increase it to 7 km for the next or the alternate week. This ensures you to train your body to adjust with increasing difficulty till you train yourself to run 21 km at a stretch.
Keep A Balanced Approach
You would find that on certain days you are able to run faster or for a longer distance. But that does not mean that you should start sprinting hard. A balanced approach is very important in this case, as a sudden pressure by sprinting can drain the juice out of your body and may leave you with no stamina at all to run the next day. Also, a regular light weight workout at a gym combined with good cardio exercises can be quite useful.
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Do Not Over-Train
Challenging yourself is important but that would not mean over-training. There’s an old saying that “Do not bite more than you can chew”. So, any type of exertion or over-training will just toil your body with fatigue hell. This may cause unnecessary injuries like painful cramps, ligament tears, and even fractures if you accidentally have a bad fall during an intense sprint. And there isn’t a need to tell you that an injury can ruin your chances of participation in half marathon, let alone win it.
Discipline Your Diet
Eat a balanced diet of proteins and carbohydrates. Avoid fatty and oily foods at all costs. Keep yourself hydrated at all times when you are training and even during your half marathon run. As per your activity level, you may also go for a healthy supplement stack; which includes: Whey Isolate (High protein with less carb) along with Glutamine (optional),& Fish oil.
You can add 5gm Creatine pre workout if you require extra energy (optional).
The dosage for all the above stack will depend on your body type and needs. For a person with an average height of around 170 cm with an average weight of around 85 kg, following can be the dosage:
- Whey Isolate: twice a day; 1 scoop post workout & 1 scoop early morning with water.
- Glutamine: 5 gm post workout mixed along with protein in water & next 5 gm at bed time in the water.
- Fish Oil: 2 capsules a day, post-meal; 1 cap after your breakfast & lunch each respectively.
*Note: Please consult your doctor/dietitian/trainer for your personal diet chart or supplement dosage and advice on any specific questions you might have regarding your training.
A half marathon is a fun event and gives you a great feeling when you complete it, even if you are not one of the winners. It is a great confidence booster and can be an awesome motivator for a lot of people who might have cared less about fitness before this event. So, forget about winning or losing. It’s all about participation, fitness awareness and the spirit of sportsmanship.