Tips for half marathon
The best tips for half-marathon success I was given from some of the world’s top distance coaches is be patient.
You have to realize that if you are young, possibly at the high school to collegiate level. Your best years are far ahead of you.
I wanted to break all of Malone University’s track and field and cross-country records coming out of high school. Rookie mistake.
I was too caught up in the event and totally lost touch with the process altogether. It wasn’t for another 12 years until I broke a 2.20.00 marathon
It really doesn’t matter what distance you specialize in.
You can’t be in a rush. It doesn’t work like that in this sport. If you focus on the process, the results will fall in your lap but you have a long term approach
I have learned quite a bit about the distance over the years and want to at least share some tips for half marathon runners seeking to run faster times.
I learned most from trial and error. Coach Jack Hazen was my coach at Malone University.
He would have us do a 10-mile time trial at the beginning of each cross-country season.
If you wanted to be on the team you had to break 60 minutes for the half marathon and to be considered one of the top runners on the team we had to be under 55 minutes.
The farthest I had ever run prior to coming to Malone to compete was the 2 mile in high school so 10 miles was a big deal, running a half-marathon, at that time was not a distance I had considered running.
Tips For Half Marathon Success
The biggest struggle I had which is surely one of the tips for half marathon success I share with you. You have to train to minimize lactic acid build up while at race pace.
The best guys and gals train to do this. It isn’t that they are all that much better then you.
I will add it isn’t just the top guys and gals in the world but the top runners in your age group or runners performing at standards you are chasing.
Are they better? The question should be what can you do differently to run faster then them?
- Running slow builds endurance and fitness. Fast running will minimize lactic acid and even more importantly lessen the slow down effect during your race. Train the anaerobic system and you will get faster times.
- Understand the importance and difference between training aerobically and aerobically.
- Run a long run once per week and don’t make the entire run a jog. Increase your distance and focus on extending the amount of time you are spending at lactate threshold effort.
This is the point at which lactic acid begins to build up in your body. You slow down because it is building up faster then it is being cleared. What is the only way to increase your body’s ability to clear it?
There are many tips for half marathon success, that is probably at the top to run faster times.
- Don’t be afraid to take some calculate risks in your race. The only way to find out is to stick your neck out. If you have done the proper anaerobic work in training there is no reason you can’t win your age group, drop significant time or make huge gains in your finish times during a race. If you miss your goal, so what, it isn’t the end of the world.
- What did you learn? What can you do to train differently so when you hit the 9th mile you don’t slow so drastically you ruin your finish time? How can you pick up pace when you are fatigued at mile 11 when it truly counts?
When a runner passes you, don’t let them pat you on the ass and run by, let them know they have been in a race – Olympic Coach Joe Vigil
- Train far faster then goal race pace. If your goal is to run 7 minute pace for 13.1 miles you have to train your aerobic capacity.
This is your body’s full ability to transport oxygen to the working muscles at it’s maximum capability.
This could be running at 6 minute mile pace for 5 miles, doing repeat miles on the track in 5.45 or finishing your last 3-5 miles of a long run at 6.00 mile pace. Their is importance in running easy. A few days during your training week should be spent at a totally relaxed pace with complete disregard to pace.
The lower the race distance the more anaerobic the event is.
The half-marathon requires endurance but is still a strength event so you have to have more of anaerobic focus to drop your times.
Easy running will build general fitness. Fast running at or exceeding goal half-marathon pace will create breakthroughs.
You build stamina in this event and can drastically drop your current half-marathon by training the anaerobic and lactic system.
You have to train fast to run fast. I dropped my half-marathon best from 1.10.32 to 1.07.06 by paying closer attention to the above mentioned tips.
Long run intensity gradually increased and I spent more time focusing on extending the amount of time I was spending at goal race pace. I threw the watch off on easy days. I knew the distance of the routes I ran and that was enough on easy days.
You don’t get results during the anaerobic workout itself, they come in the rest and usually the positive result of that specific workout doesn’t show up until 21 days down the road.