How to get from the couch to your first half marathon
10 July 2019
The prospect of running a half marathon can daunt, especially if you are a novice runner. A half marathon spans 13.1 miles, but you might never have previously run even a single mile at a time. Thankfully, solace is at hand even if you are currently a couch potato... Whether you are motivated to run a half marathon for weight loss, fitness, charity or another reason, the following pointers can help you get there in an anguish-relieving fashion.
The prospect of running a half marathon can daunt, especially if you are a novice runner. A half marathon spans 13.1 miles, but you might never have previously run even a single mile at a time. Thankfully, solace is at hand even if you are currently a couch potato...
Whether you are motivated to run a half marathon for weight loss, fitness, charity or another reason, the following pointers can help you get there in an anguish-relieving fashion.
Focus first on races shorter than a half marathon
Given the sufficient challenge that covering 13.1 miles can pose for a beginner runner, you can do yourself a favour by setting your sights lower at first. 5K and 10K races are both shorter and, therefore, better initial races for people without a lot of running experience under their belts.
During your first race, tasks like donning a race bib and rehydrating at water stops can induce nervousness. Therefore, don't let the race distance add to your anxiety as well.
Be persistent in your training efforts
Don't be surprised if you sometimes feel your motivation faltering during your training regime for a half marathon. When that happens, you might want to come up with a flimsy excuse to skip your training for that day, but we urge that you push against the temptation to do so.
However, there can still be reliable indicators that you should take a break from your training...
Don't ignore pain that worsens when you run
While a practice run might sometimes leave your muscles with soreness, you shouldn't confuse this with more serious pain that would indicate a more deep-rooted issue with your body.
For example, don't overlook pain that hampers your running or walking gait. If you experience this kind of pain, Verywell Fit advises that rest should be the best remedy. If you push through an injury that has only recently arisen, you could worsen it or even cause an entirely new injury.
Incorporate cross-training into your regime
Believe it or not, running isn't the sole fitness activity in which you should engage to prepare for a half marathon. Logging miles remains, of course, crucial; however, overdoing it can cause injury and burnout. Cross-training is a good means of reducing the likelihood of picking up an injury later.
Cross-training activities are basically those supplementary to your running. Strength-training and swimming are especially worthwhile - and we let you do both on fitness boot camps.
Learn how to eat healthily for your run
Another merit of signing up for a fitness retreat with Prestige Boot Camp staff is the opportunity to learn good nutrition habits. This can really pay off for your running. For example, consuming energy-rich carbohydrates can ward off fatigue, says mindbodygreen.
If you have never been on any of our retreats, you can sample one of our London bootcamp days or weekends. Joining one of these camps, which take place once a month in the capital's leafy Hyde Park, could be your first step towards becoming a half marathoner.