Get ready for your first half marathon in three months.
Use this training plan to prep yourself for the race. (Photo: Unsplash / www.pixabay.com)
Taking part in your virgin 21km run? You’ll need a sound training plan to fall back on. We asked Anthony Sum, founder and chief running officer of Team Fatbird, a local running club, to design a panic-free programme just for you.
A word of caution: don’t rush into it. If you’ve been sedentary, ease into the regime by going for shorter runs ﬁrst. You should be comfortable completing 10km runs before embarking on this plan.
Also, take your runs outside. Unless you’re derailed by rainy days or a hectic travelling schedule, avoid training on the treadmill as it won’t give you a good feel of what outdoor racing is like, says Anthony.
But if you must train indoors, increase the treadmill’s gradient by two per cent. “The elevation simulates the experience of running outdoors, where terrain and weather conditions vary,” he adds.
12-week Half Marathon Training Plan
*Core and strength training should incorporate resistance or weight-bearing exercises (try this workout).
For the (half) marathon newbie who’s racing abroad, here are five other important tips.
1. Know your terrain
Do your research. Knowing what you’re up against means you can prepare for it early. “For example, you may need to incorporate more hill work into your routine if the route is extremely hilly,” says Anthony.
2. Acclimatise early
Arrive three days before the race so your body can adjust to the weather. You should also stay for at least two days after the competition to give your muscles time to recover before boarding the plane home.
3. Hit the finishing line
Two days before the actual race, do a trial run nearing the end of the race route. “This is usually the toughest part of the run as most people will be exhausted by then. Practising here will give you an idea of what to expect on the day itself,” explains Anthony.
4. Beat the cold
Running in cooler climates, say 15 deg C, means it’s a must to wear two layers on top (a running singlet in addition to a short-sleeved tee) and long tights. Bundling up in a tracksuit before the race will also help keep your muscles warm.
5. Drink as per normal
Cool weather could trick you into thinking you’re not that thirsty. Anthony suggests sipping on liquids once every 2km to stay sufficiently hydrated.