Rule of Thumb:
For distance training, shoot for mileage on the long walk/run and focus on minutes during the week. That translates into getting 2 to 3 mid-week workouts in for 30 and no more than 45 minutes per session. Cross training is important and we will address that soon. However, critical to distance training is what is referred to as “specificity training”. Put simply, that means to train by doing what you want to accomplish. If you want to run or walk a half marathon, you actually have to practice running, or walking.
If you are:
Just Getting Started or Back Into It:
Start out with adding 2 mid-week training runs or walks. Easy does it. Try to get at least 30 minutes accomplished each time out. There is no need to go more than 45 minutes. Seriously. In this case, more is not better. The number 1 mistake is over training. We have a long way to go so the key is to pace yourself, not only while you are out there but during the season as a whole.
Seasoned Runner/Walker (been doing it for years):
If this is your first half, but you’ve been running for years, your greatest temptation may be to think you can push it a bit. Listen to your body! Trust the training plan! Over training will bring injuries. You can incorporate more cross training but make sure you get at least 2, preferably 3 mid-week runs or walk in, for no more than 45 minutes. This will be especially important as our Saturday mileage increases. Your body will need the time to recover.
Completed multiple halves:
Resist the urge to over train, but you may be ready to push yourself a bit. Add cross training if you do not already. Even though you are seasoned, you still don’t need to go more than 3 times mid-week and keep it at or under 45 minutes. This is important for muscle rest / recovery, especially as we increase our mileage.