6 Months Before Your Half Marathon…
Play the long game and start preparing for your half marathon now with our “6 month mark” tips.
Your 2018 running goal just became official: you’re going to run a half marathon! Choosing a half marathon like Windsor, which is still 6 months away, is a great idea. 6 months might seem like a very long time, but as far as your body is concerned it’s perfect. 6 months gives you adequate time to lay the ground work, get your fitness levels up, build strength in your muscles and connective tissue, and put the finishing touches in place – like speed and pace.
So with 6 months to go until your half marathon, what should you be doing
- Plan Your Race
It’s time to choose your half marathon if you haven’t already. Of course, we’d suggest the Windsor Half! It has everything: a fabulous course, iconic setting, incredible atmosphere, and the kind of organisation you only get from one of the leading races in the UK. Once yo’ve chosen your race, do your homework. What’s the course like? Do you need to train on the flat, on hills, or on new terrain?
2. Build Up Your Mileage
Even at 6 months to go, it’s time to start building your mileage slowly. You have plenty of time, which means you can crank up your fitness and increase the miles without adding excess strain on your joints. And you get plenty of important recovery time, because you’re not rushing.
3. Recovery Time
Make sure your chosen training plan has plenty of recovery time built in – remember that this is when the magic happens. You don’t get fit during training – you get fit when your body has a chance to adapt to the stress of training.
4. Get Your Head In The Right Place
A 6 month half marathon training plan will have its challenges, and most of them will be on your mind rather than your body. Give yourself the best chance of success by spending some time thinking about how you’ll cope when training gets tough. Who is in your corner? Who can you rely on for support? What might your triggers be for skipping training or feeling like giving up? And – most importantly – why do you want to do this half marathon?
5. Healthy Variety
It doesn’t need to be all running, running, running from now on. In fact, a healthy training plan includes cross training, recovery sessions, stretching, and strength training. So take some time now to devise a way to get all aspects of a healthy training plan into your weeks moving forward. A bit of planing now will make it all a lot easier.
6. Get Your Shoes
You’ll need good running shoes to train for a half marathon, so now is the time to visit a running shop and get some advice. If you can, go to one that has an in store treadmill so they can assess your gait and footfall. If not, make sure they will let you run in the shoes and not rush you into a decision. And if you find a pair you love, buy two pairs if you can afford it. One pair won’t see you through 6 months of half marathon training plus the race itself.
7. Brain Training
Of course you’ll need to train your body for your half marathon, but spend time regularly training your brain as well. Develop strategies for dealing with negative thoughts, low patches, and self sabotage. Music might help you, or positive mantras. If in doubt, come back to that compelling reason of WHY you want to do this half marathon. How will you feel when you’ve done it? That’s your future self… and he/she is only 6 months away!