How it Works
RUN YOUR FIRST (OR BEST) HALF MARATHON IN JUST 12 WEEKS!
This plan is aimed at the beginner runner who is new to half marathons, and would like a manageable programme to ensure they have an enjoyable race and finish comfortably. This plan includes a combination of running and strength training to help you achieve your running goals with less mileage. This, combined with the specific running-focused strength training, will help reduce your chance of injury and improve running efficiency.
The half-marathon strength-programme contains simple home-based exercises that do not require much equipment.
Ideally, you will need some resistance and mini bands. Correct technique is incredibly important for strength training to ensure you don’t injure yourself as well as to target the correct muscle groups.
Strength training should be performed in a slow controlled manner to avoid unnecessary injuries. Please follow the instructions and videos as accurately as you can. When doing strength work, try to breathe naturally and exhale on exertion. Prior to your strength training sessions, try to do a short cardiovascular workout of about 5-10mins such as jogging around your garden/up and down your road or on the spot, skipping, high knees or butt kicks.
You will be required to complete three days a week of running with two strength training sessions per week. These strength sessions will take you about 30-45 minutes depending if you run through the sets 2 or 3 times. There will also be recovery weeks, which are imperative to allow the body to repair and regenerate, so that you can start the next block feeling refreshed and strong.
The plan is time-based, so your mileage will depend on the pace of your runs.
Stick to the prescribed intensities (you can use heart rate or rate of perceived exertion as per table) for each run. The easy runs need to be easy so that you can do the important higher intensity sessions really well and with good running form.
On the days that you do the high-intensity sessions (such as speed work, hills and time trials) it is ideal to do some strides and dynamic stretching to help your body perform better. This routine can also be performed on race days. So after your jog warm-up, complete 2-3 dynamic stretches.
Dynamic stretching involves taking your muscles through a full range of motion in a controlled manner. These can include about 5-6 leg swings forward and backwards, leg swings across the body, alternating stretching each calf. Then complete 2-3 strides which means gradually increasing your pace over about 100m.
Stretching is often neglected as we “just don’t have the time”, but try to make time at the end of your runs and strength training sessions.
Focus on muscles that you have worked as well as those that feel tight. Generally for runners, these muscles will be the hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves. Also, take note if one side is tighter than the other and spend a bit more time on that side.
Static stretching should be done after training, which means holding each stretch for 15-30 seconds. Remember not to hold your breath while stretching.
READY TO START TRAINING?
Conquer your first 21 with this plan that uses a gradual build-up, speedwork, and goal-paced runs to get you fit – and safely across the finish line.