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Beginning Runner Training

Expert Panel Questions???

“I have never been a runner I am out of shape and attempting to train for a half marathon I am just now starting should I focus on keeping up a faster pace for shorter time or go for distance with a slower pace?”

(ask your questions to the UtahRunning.com Experts)


If you’re just starting out as a first-time runner, you should make the establishment of a consistent training program your first priority. Find thirty minutes each day (six days each week, if possible) to set aside for your training. Don’t worry about pace or distance at first. In fact, you may need to do a combination of walking and running in order to get through thirty minutes. Before long, if you are consistent, you’ll be able to run comfortably for thirty minutes each day. As that begins to feel easy, add time to some (not all) of your weekly runs and see how your body responds to the increased workload.

Try not to skip days unless you need to recover from an injury. Instead, learn to listen to your body, running faster on days that you feel good and easy on days that you need to recover. Not every day should be a hard day. Besides keeping you healthy, this is important for your enjoyment of the sport. If you begin to dread the difficulty of a normal run, you’re working too hard.

If you’re a beginning runner training for a half marathon, you’ll eventually want to work a long run into your schedule once each week. This long run should be about 10-12 miles and should constitute about 20-25% of your weekly mileage. For example, if you run 10 miles on Saturday morning, you should average at least six miles each of the other five days for a total weekly mileage of 40.

Be flexible on your runs and don’t be afraid to change plans depending on how you feel. If, ten minutes into a run, you find yourself feeling especially good, try to push the pace for three or four minutes. If that feels OK, take a few minutes at an easy pace to recover and then push again. On the other hand, if you planned on a long run one day, but your body is insisting that it’s just not ready, don’t worry about cutting the run a little short or slowing down the pace. Keeping yourself healthy is critical to maintaining consistency, and your body will let you know when it needs a rest.

by – Michael Spence – Elite Runner

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This entry was posted on Monday, June 7th, 2010 at 11:16 am and is filed under Beginners, Expert Answers, Marathon/Half Marathon, Marathon/Half Marathon, Training, Utah Half Marathons. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

One response to “Beginning Runner Training”

  1. […] started: How to Start and Beginning Runner Training Breathing: Pre-Exercise […]

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