Running a marathon may not be as daunting a goal as you might at first think. Of course, you'll have to work towards shorter distances initially and proceed from there. One of your early goals will be to run a half marathon. The period of training necessary to accomplish this will vary according to your fitness level. Novice half marathon training centers around a seven-day schedule.
DO: Focus on a weekly long distance runThe focus of your weekly training regimen should be one slow, long-distance run on the day of the week you feel you have the most time. For most people, this would be on a weekend or on a regular day off. You'll want to take some time to warm up properly, as well as cool down and stretch afterward. This day should be preceded by a rest day to better enable you to perform optimally. The pace of your run should be slow enough that you could carry on a conversation.
DO: Cross trainTwo days a week, give your body a break from the impact of running while still building your aerobic fitness. Example activities include biking, swimming, rowing, or training on an elliptical machine. You have the option of cross-training the day after your long distance run and following this with a rest day, or vice versa.
DO: Mix things up with two shorter, moderate runsBegin your weekly regimen with a shorter run -- about half the distance of your long run and at a slightly faster pace. Do the same thing two days later, alternating with two days of cross-training (or one day of cross-training and one rest day). You should try to increase the number of training minutes on a weekly basis. Be patient and avoid too much of an increase each week or else you run the risk of demotivating or injuring yourself.
DON'T: Be afraid to intersperse running with walkingIt's important to meet the distance goal on your long run days even if you have to walk. And it is better to walk regularly than to walk when you can't run any farther. Even some regular marathoners take several short walking breaks in their races. You can do this on your moderate run days as well.
DON'T: Neglect your rest daysIt's important not to over-train. You run serious risk of injury if you do. You should have two regular rest days per week.
DON'T: Ignore your bodyIf you feel like you need additional rest, take it. However, if you don't feel like running on one of your moderate run days, consider an added day of cross-training. Also, you might consider going for a brisk walk rather than running.
Accomplishing the half marathon is certainly a challenge, but it's a worthy goal that your lifestyle can accommodate without too much interference. Becoming a long distance runner takes patience and time. A consistent novice half marathon training schedule, with a focus on your long-term goals and running lifestyle, is more important than trying to accomplish this distance too soon.
About Author: Carol Steffes is an ACSM Certified Fitness Specialist who is eager to share his love of fitness with everyone he meets. After experiencing the physical and emotional benefits of exercise after giving birth to her two young sons, Carol decided to change her career and returned to BuyEssayClub to document her training and share her experiences on the blog. The main goal of Carol in her career is to help as many people as possible develop a love of action and thereby help change not only the state of the obesity epidemic in our society, but also change people's lives.