How Many Miles Week Before Half Marathon
Running your first half marathon is a milestone along your running journey. Your goal is to run a total distance of 13.1 miles, and with proper training, this is achievable.
So, how many miles per week should you run before your half marathon? What is a proper training plan that you can follow to achieve your goal? Keep reading to find out.
How Many Miles Week Before Half Marathon?
To get ready for the half marathon, a new runner can start training with a mileage of 10 to 15 miles and then work on increasing and improving their performance to reach a peak performance of 25 to 30 miles. This mileage guarantees that they’ll be ready to finish the 13.1-mile half marathon easily.
However, during the week of your half marathon, this mileage should be reduced to 8 to 10 miles to be able to reserve your energy and allow your body to recover.
You can’t just jump onto the next half marathon race. First, you need to train your body and mind to be able to endure this effort by running shorter distances. With continuous practice, achieving the half marathon goal won’t be a big issue.
If you’ve already finished a 10K race successfully, you can safely build up your distance by increasing your weekly mileage. During the 10K race, you run a distance of 6.2 miles, so you need to increase the distance by 10% per week until you’re able to reach the half marathon.
Your training plan involves increasing your tempo and pace, incorporating more interval runs, endurance runs, and threshold runs, so you can increase your tolerance and stamina until you’re able to complete the 13.1-mile race.
By following a well-researched plan of interval running and recovery periods, you get your body trained to withstand the strain and fatigue. This leads to cumulative progress, especially towards the end of the program.
In the beginning, you’ll be pushing your body to its maximum limit by increasing your distance and pace. However, towards the end, you should incorporate more recovery periods and easy runs to allow your body to recover and process the training load.
Two Weeks Before the Half Marathon
The process of reducing your training load is called tapering, and while some runners prefer to start it 10 days before a race, others would start to reduce their load about two weeks before the set date. Tapering has psychological and physical benefits because it also allows you to relax your mind knowing that you’ve done your best.
The last peak training should be done about 14 to 10 days before your race because this is the time your body needs to recover. However, some challenging workouts need more recovery time, while threshold runs and half marathon workouts can take between 8 and 10 days for a full recovery.
An example of a challenging workout should involve your longest run of about 13 miles with 2 miles done at the desired pace, repeated for up to 4 sets. If you’re a beginner runner, do this 14 days before the race day. An experienced runner can do this 10 days before the race day and still be able to recover.
One Week Before the Half Marathon
During this week, you’ll be working on reducing your mileage and preserving your energy. This will guarantee that you won’t experience any fatigue that might affect your performance on race day. Your race mileage can be between 60% and 80% of your peak performance, so you can stick to a distance between 8 and 10 miles.
Finding the right mileage depends on your level as a runner and your peak performance. You also want to go easy with strength training or even eliminate it completely so you don’t drain yourself or suffer an injury right before the race.
Same Week of the Half Marathon
Your tapering efforts increase, and you might end up running an average of 40% to 50% of your peak run. Your purpose during this week is not to improve your performance but to keep your body and mind relaxed to get ready for the race.
All types of weight lifting, plyometrics, and strength training should be avoided during this week. Yet, you should include one race about five days before the race day, where you run between 2 to 3 miles at the goal pace.
How to Prepare for Your Half Marathon
The final week before your half marathon is the final preparation chance. After training heavily for two or three weeks, you need to reduce your mileage and give your body a chance to recover to restore your energy.
You should stick to a short mileage during the last week and focus on fitness walks every other day. This will help you stay energized without straining your muscles. Here are some things you need to do during the last week before the race.
Follow a Healthy Diet
Before your race, you need to stick to a healthy diet. However, you don’t need to overeat or change your diet dramatically.
Avoid eating fatty foods because they’ll make you lethargic. Food that gives you gas or causes a change in your bowel movements should be avoided too. You should also avoid alcohol and high-caffeine drinks to prevent dehydration.
During the final week before your race, it’s best not to try any new food. You might be allergic, or the stress might affect your digestion, so it’s best to stick to nutritious and tried food that you know will provide your body with the needed nutrients and energy.
After picking your half marathon, you need to get yourself educated about the race’s details. This starts with the registration process and the documents you need, picking your race packet, and whether someone else can help you. You should also ask about transportation arrangements if the starting point is far away.
Every race has its own rules, so you need to ask about any restrictions like headphones or walking poles. You also need to be aware of the time limits if you fall behind.
During the race, you need to have everything figured out, so you should have clear information about locations for toilets, water, and sports drinks if they’re available. You can also ask about where your family and friends can wait to cheer for you.
Having all these questions answered a few days before your race guarantees that you won’t worry about anything else. Your total focus and attention will be on nothing but improving your numbers.
Sort Things Out
Your half marathon is a chance to meet a lot of people, whether they’re other runners or your family and friends who are coming to cheer for you and encourage you to finish your race. So, before your race day, you need to be clear about all transportation plants, times, and locations so there will be no room for mistakes.
In addition to training properly for the big day, your body needs to recharge and restore its energy. This happens when you’re resting and sleeping, so you need to think of a healthy sleep pattern during your pre-half marathon training.
It’s normal to feel a little stressed before the big day, so you need to plan ahead to help your body recharge during the final week. This includes eliminating early-morning and late-night plans, drinking too much coffee, and over-training, which will strain and drain you.
You can have a soothing herbal tea to help you feel better and relax, but you might still toss and turn on the final night. This, however, won’t impact your performance significantly if you have been sleeping well for the whole week.
Check the Weather
You don’t want any unplanned events taking place on race day, so it’s crucial to check the weather forecast and dress appropriately for the occasion. If it’s warm, you should expect the temperature to be higher than the predicted one. After all, once you start running, your body’s temperature will increase, and you will feel warmer.
Even on a chilly day, you’ll probably overheat because of the effort during the race. So, you should avoid wearing layers. Instead, go for a lightweight jacket or cover-up that you’d be ready to toss away once your body feels warmer.
Moreover, you should try to protect yourself from overheating by cooling off using water. Spray water on your head, cap, and clothes to reduce your body’s temperature at water stops to avoid heat strokes.
In hot weather, you’ll be more prone to chafing and blisters, so you should wear the right outfit and apply a protective cream to protect your skin. Wearing sunscreen is recommended in hot and chilly weather. If rain is expected, make sure that you have lightweight rain gear like a rain poncho. You can also protect your shoes with disposable shower caps to keep them dry.
A windproof jacket will retain your body’s temperature, so you can complete your race with the same stamina. You can also use chemical hand and leg warmers and wear protective gloves to stay warm as the temperature drops.
Get the Right Gear
All the accessories you’ll need on the race day should be well-thought and prepared a couple of days before the big day. This will give you time to buy new items or replace any defective ones.
Pack and label all your items and put them in a carry-on if you’re traveling. This will eliminate the risk of arriving without your luggage.
Avoid trying something new for the first time on race day. You should always stick to the outfit and gear you’re used to because you know exactly how they’ll perform while running.
Make sure that your clothes are clean and dry, and inspect them for any defects or holes. This includes any warm-up gear that you might want to keep for the first part of the race, like a trash bag or a disposable jacket.
If you’re planning to run at night, you should have the right lights and ensure they’re ready for the race. Running at night can be challenging, so you need to practice well before the day of your half marathon.
Don’t try a hydration pack for the first time on race day. If you’re planning to use one, make sure that it fits and that you’re used to carrying its weight. You should also check all the buckles and straps.
Make sure that your GPS tracker or heart rate monitor is charged before the race. These devices can help you track your progress. Clean your sunglasses, wash your hat, and make sure that everything is in perfect condition before you go for the half marathon run.
Why is Running a Half Marathon Considered a Great Achievement?
Running a half marathon is a great achievement for novice runners, especially those who haven’t been training for long. The process of signing up means that you’re eventually turning your passion for running into something more serious that you’re ready to commit to.
This race is a great chance to prove to yourself and others that you can actually achieve your workout goals. Here are some reasons why running the half marathon race is an excellent decision.
- Half marathon training programs can take between 10 and 12 weeks, so you can adjust the plan according to your experience and needs.
- There are more than 2000 half marathons in the USA to choose from, so as a novice runner, you have plenty of options that allow you to pick the most suitable one. This is double the number of marathons available for runners.
- With a shorter distance, the risk of suffering from an injury is reduced by 50% compared to a marathon.
- It doesn’t take a lot of your time. You can run the half marathon and still enjoy the rest of your day. After a short recovery period of one or two days, you’ll be able to presume running.
- Despite being a big challenge, running the half marathon isn’t that overwhelming, especially if you have been training for some time. As a result, you’ll be able to recover fast, and you can go on with your workout plan.
- You don’t have to worry about refueling during the race because the distance isn’t that long.
- Some people get too bored or overwhelmed while waiting during a marathon to see you racing. Your family and friends won’t have to wait for long before they can cheer for you.
- The photos taken at the finish line will look great because you’re not fully drained when compared to a full marathon.
- You can still brag about your running skills and feel proud of your achievement.
Final Thoughts on How Many Miles Week Before Half Marathon
The half marathon race is a great step along the way of establishing your status as an experienced runner. It takes training and dedication to be able to reach this goal, and the preparation depends on your experience level and how early you’ve started preparing for the race.
Before the race day, you need to reduce your mileage in a process called tapering. You can end up running only 40% to 50% of your peak performance, so you can give your body and mind time to recover before the big day.