Half Marathon

Good Day super incredible athletic runners and walkers! This is your Road Runners Club of Woodbury weekly run tip. I have just finished signing up for the Rock and Roll Philly half marathon which takes place on September 18th. I use this half marathon as a training run to prepare for my full marathons. Most of you are training for the upcoming half and full marathons while some of you are questioning whether to race in one of these events. My suggestion is to go for it with the understanding that some critical training needs to be done. Let’s take a look at what a runner needs to do to prepare for a half marathon.


The first step in considering running a half marathon is to have a solid running base.  I still remember my first running coach saying that if I want to run a marathon I needed a solid running base. I did not know what that meant until he explained it. Building a base means that a runner should have invested some time running about 15 to 20 miles a week. This will allow the runners body to be prepared for the long runs that are part of a marathons training demand. The one thing to consider is that a runner without this base that decides to do a 12 week training plan could experience an over load. This could result in overtraining or an injury. I recommend at least 6 months to a year building a base before considering a half or full marathon.


The next step is to acquire a good training plan. I recommend a 12 week program for a half marathon that is focused on the goal pace for this event. The goal could be just to finish and that is fine. The plan should reflect the goal that you want to accomplish. For example if the goal is to finish strong with a good time then the plan should include specific endurance training. Examples of specific endurance training for the half are tempo runs, speed work, hill work, and of course the long run. Each of these specific training methods can be found at the RRCWoodbury.com web site for your reference. If the runner is only interested in finishing then the long run would be the only specific training run needed. To accomplish the distance of a half marathon the longest run to perform should be thirteen miles.


Recovery is an important ingredient when training for the half marathon. Rest is the main player when recovering. Rest can be defined as simply not running one day, cross training, or performing an easy run. I have been told many times that my training consist of to many hard runs which won’t allow for any recovery time. Remember our muscles are broken done as a result of a hard training and need a rest to re-build stronger. If we don’t allow for this time of rest then our body’s will not grow and the result will be over training and injuries. The two best ways for recovery is to take a day off or to do an easy run which requires less effort. I enjoy a nice easy run which allows me to remember that running is fun.



Remember good nutrition is paramount in your workouts. Plenty of lean protein and carbohydrates will help to fuel your training. Water and sports drinks are a must when training. Dehydration will destroy you journey so keep plenty of fluids in your system while training. Please refer to the rrcwoodbury web site for tips on nutrition.

The final note is to go for it! Sign up for your first half marathon and have fun. Train smart and always plug into a running club such as the Road Runners Club of Woodbury for great advice in training.

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another”
–Walter Elliott

Happy Running!

John K Carlson V.P.