First, there was crawling. Then there was walking. Then we, as toddlers learnt how to run and that made our mothers get quite the bit of exercise as we discovered the world around us. Looking at the progression of things, we’ve always been able to do things one step at a time – from crawling, walking then running. Running has always been a form of exercise that tests endurance and stamina, one that celebrates the resilience of life as we run through streets and towns, peoples’ faces and countless buildings. Marathons are a milestone if you wish.
For any athlete a marathon would be a goal to aim for. For a layperson, it would just seem like torture. But full marathons are not made for everyone. That’s where the half marathon comes in. Half the length, half the effort.
What is a half marathon?
A half marathon is half the distance of a full marathon. This means instead of the full 42 kms, you have to run only 21.0975 kilometres. There are many reasons why a half marathon was created. Not only does a full marathon provide a challenging distance to cover for anyone, but it also needs rigorous training. A half marathon is half as challenging and does not require the amount of intense training that a full one requires.
In fact, the half marathon segment has proven to be the fastest growing type of race and participation in it has grown steadily over the years. It is usually held at the same time as a marathon, only with a late start, an early finish or short cuts to divert the participants through a shorter route.
But in all our enthusiasm, what’s the proper way to get ready for a half marathon? If you haven’t been training for it and you decide to run one, it’s guaranteed that the next day you will hardly be able to move. Most people train for weeks perhaps even months before a marathon. They watch the foods they eat and keep a track on the distance they cover each day to work up towards getting a good time for the marathon. Here are a few things that you could do in preparation for your half marathon.
Be aware of your body and its limits
A half or a full marathon is no joke. IT can test your body and put it a significant higher risk for injury than your normal average daily jog. Check with a physician or your family doctor to make sure that everything is good with your body to run a marathon.
Build Mileage slowly
The problem that most people face is that they start training too fast, too late. The trick to achieving a good finishing time as well as avoiding totally exhausting your body out and causing bodily harm or damage is to start your training early. Consistently running everyday or covering a certain distance weekly will help build your endurance and stamina.
Start slow, start small
The trick to preparing for a marathon is to start small. Run 5k races thenmove on to 10k. This will help you prepare yourself physically and mentally and also give you an idea on your performance in the race – in terms of your race timings, mileage and more. This will also help to reveal if there are any flaws in your running style, if you have any breathing problems or health problems running after a certain distance. Give your body time to get accustomed to longer distances so that it doesn’t get a rude shock at the time of the half marathon.