i just started running about 9 weeks ago. i ran my first 10K this past sunday, 9/15/13 and thought i did an awesome job. how do i begin to train for a half marathon? do i start from week 1 or can i pick up right where i left off when i was training for the 10K? my plan is to run another 10K and a half within 6 weeks and another 10k and half marathon within 9 weeks. when it's all said and done i would have ran 3 10K's and 2 halves all with less than 6 months of training. am i doing too much too soon? do i need to back off a bit?
A lot depends upon your underlying level of fitness and endurance, but as a general rule, yes, I'd say you might be doing too much too soon, and that can in turn lead to injury.
A few questions:
To put what I wrote above in perspective:
I've been a runner off and on for over 40 years now; I started running again in April and have since logged 821.2 miles, and I am just now thinking I'm ready to run my first half marathon.
Fat old man PRs:
There are a number of ways to get started training for a half marathon. Active.com, Runners World, McMillian Running.com and a number of books all have similar training programs that have been used successfully by thousands of runners. You may also want to consider joining a local running store's Saturday or Sunday morning group runs. Many stores offer training programs for runners who want to run in an upcoming half marathon.
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I ran my first 10k in June, and then my first half in September. I think picking your training plan depends a lot on how many miles a week you've been running, and what your goal is. Are you just trying to finish? Are you hoping to meet a certain time goal? If you're hoping to meet a certain time goal, you'll want to give yourself plenty of time to prepare. I remember thinking that I would run the same pace I ran 5 or 6 miles in, just for 13 miles by adding on a mile at that pace every other week to my long runs. It doesn't work like that! Your pacing is different based on the duration of each event you're running. Just something to keep in mind.
As you're looking at half marathon training plans, I would make sure you find one where you aren't expected to run more miles than you've been doing in whatever week you pick up the program in. General rule of thumb is adding no more than 10% to your weekly mileage to avoid injury. If you're looking at a plan that has you running 30 miles a week, and you've only been running 15, then that plan really won't work for you!
I would be careful not to run too many races - I think that number of races in such a short amount of time is going to take away your sense of accomplishment because you won't be able to give yourself time to train and improve between events. You also could risk injury if you're racing a 10k when you should be tapering for a half marathon.
I write a running blog geared towards motivating runners of any pace or distance at http://www.iamrunningthis.com!
Couch to 5K graduate, September 2012
First 10K, June 2nd, 2013
First Half Marathon, September 2013
Training for my 6th half marathon, November 2015.
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