What are some tips on training for a half marathon?

This is a post from a novice runner who started running a few months before.

I have complete 2 official Half Marathons in Hyderabad. I am sharing 3 points from my personal experience I gained while I was training for half marathon.

A brief history: I ran my first half marathon last year (August 2016) without any proper training. I managed to finish in 3 hrs. I gave up running as I could not find enough space for fitness in my work-life. I was overweight (near to obese). This year tried to give another shot to running but with some training.

Here are my two cents:

a) Time: Fitness is part of your life. Give an hour daily. Don't limit yourself to reducing weight or beer-belly. Fitness is much more. You need to become strong, gain stamina and endurance. This comes eventually. Unlike movie stars, we aren't paid for transformations. Therefore give time on daily basis and you can see the changes gradually.

Running is good start. You need to build a strong core, calf muscles, thighs, abs and shoulders. Training for long distance runs include:

· cross training (1 hour): alternate days for cross fit training. It takes 1 hour for a good training session.

· short runs (5-10 km runs: 30 – 60 min): Alternate days to cross fit. These run help you to increase your pace and endurance.

· long runs (>14 km : 1.5 – 2 hours): Sundays are good for such runs. Running culture is increasing in India and you will find running groups in your city/locality.

· Rest: Rest is equally important to your training. One day a week should be for rest.

b) Group and Mentor: I like solitude. But training with a group I enjoyed the most. You push yourself when you train with a group. I am lucky to have a highly supportive and enthusiastic group.

As mentioned earlier, there are quite a good number of running clubs/organization in almost all the cities such as Hyderabad runners, Bangalore runners and more. Just reach out and you can join with set of individuals pushing themselves to be fit in their busy life.

Learning a new thing needs a bit of training and coaching. It is recommended to have a trainer for fitness. And yeah, YouTube has a billion free videos on fitness. But remember, just like your finger print, your body is unique. A good mentor helps you to understand your body, your limits and areas for improvement.

(in case, affordability is factor for getting a personal trainer, go for a mentor to your group – about 10-12 is good team size. We had trainer for our team - Poonam Shravage)

Here are few group training sessions and our group pic.

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