Each year the half marathon continues to attract more runners and I think the reasons are obvious; it’s just far enough to feel like your racecation is justified, but not so far that half marathon training feels like it consumes your life.
No matter your reason for tackling 13.1, which is a half marathon, not “just a half” or a mini marathon or one of those shorter marathons, as you might hear from your non-running friends, it’s worth taking to heart a few lessons that will make the experience better.
These are my best half marathon tips from over 17 years of running and 2000 articles!
Half Marathon Training for Beginners
RunToTheFinish now contains thousands of articles on running, so I’ve compiled some of the most useful half marathon training tips, tricks and lessons for you here!
The search bar at the top of the site will help if there are other topics like a specific running injury (hello IT Band Syndrome) you’d like help to resolve.
First Half Marathon Training tips
Tips are broken down in to different sections to help you find what you need. Bookmark this page to come back as you continue training and find what you need!
Let’s start with some of the basics, what you need to know if this is your first half marathon to get through training and have the best possible experience.
- 18 Things I Wish I’d Known Before My First Half
- Secrets to Increase Running Endurance
- Long Run Tips: Getting Mental Ready for New Distances
- How to Transition to Running in the Morning
- How to Use a Practice Race
- How to Begin Implementing Speed Workouts
- Explaining Those Race Week Aches and Pains
- How to Handle Bad Runs During Training
- Half Marathon Recovery Plan (how to get back out there)
Half Marathon Fueling Tips
Fueling for the half marathon is different than the 10K and different than 26.2. You can get away with little to no fueling in training for a 10K and may NOT need quite as much as you think during the run for a half marathon. It turns out that many runners are overfueling, which leads to runners trots.
What becomes truly important is your nutrition pre and post workout.
- How to Fuel for a Half Marathon
- Fueling for Sensitive Stomachs
- Should You Use Pre-Workout
- Is it Ok to do Fasted Runs?
- What to Eat Before a Run?
- Best Race Morning Carbs?
- Why You Shouldn’t Carb Load
- Debunking Current Sports Nutrition Fads
- Scientifically Proven Post Run Meals
- Do You Need to Give Up Your Post Run Beer??
- What You Really Need to Know About Running Hydration
And since we’re talking about food, how about a few runner recipes to help you out:
- Kara Gouchers healthy pizza
- Shalane Flannagan’s homemade electrolyte drink
- Why you need to eat more potatoes
- High Protein Salad Ideas To Keep You Full
- 21 Energy Bite Ideas (great fuel and snacks)
Half Marathon Gear Tips
I LOVE talking gear, which means there’s a ton I could point to. But hopefully these help with some of the biggest questions that I receive around gear.
- Running Gear Must Haves
- Winter Running Gear (making it easier to get out there)
- Best Sunglasses for Running
- Best Jackets for Rain Running
- Best Jackets for Winter Running
- Best Running Gloves
- Best Hydration Packs for long runs
- What You Need to Know About GPS Watches
There’s so much to know about half marathon training that I literally have hundreds of other articles, but I know how it is to get sucked down the rabbit hole of information. Instead, I want you to pick out the areas where you currently need the most information!
We can always find areas to improve from better dynamic warm ups to post run stretching to our post run meals. If you’ve gotten through the basics of training, then start to jump in to those areas and you’ll see them quickly start to add up!
Road to a PR Series
You’ve already conquered your first 13.1 and now it’s time to take things up a notch. You’ve go your eyes on a shiny new Personal Record!
Checkout the entire Road to a PR series designed to take you from finding the right goal through training and even race day logistics of the half marathon. Each of these components are key to knocking off minutes to seconds for your best race.
Choosing your race pace >>
Picking the right race for your goal >>
Creating your training plan >>
Active Recovery vs Rest Days >>
Why you need a base building phase>>
Safely adding speed work >>
Why you need a peak week >>
How to taper the right way >>
Race day strategy >>
9 ways to manage race day nerves>>
How to bounce back from a bad race >>
Half Marathon Speed Training
The above tips will all help you reach that next goal, but these dive specifically in to dropping your time!
- How to Improve Your Half Marathon Time (by 10 minutes!)
- How to Train to Run a Sub 2 Hour Half Marathon
- Drills to Improve Speed
Half Marathon Training Plans
Are you looking for a half marathon training plan to follow? Depending on your goals you might do just fine with one of the standard training plans, you might have enough experience to create your own or it might be time to work with a running coach.
I recently launched a brand new Sub Two Hour Half Marathon training guide with a detailed plan, strength training and coaching videos.
A few of my personal favorite free plans that are out there already:
- My free downloadable half marathon training plan to transition from the 10k to half marathon
- Run To The Finish Book – realistic plans for busy people that won’t leave you injured
- Brain Training for Runners – more demanding training plans, but with great logic around them
- Maffetone Method Training Plan – if you’re constantly run down from training, this is my preferred method
Bonus: 8 Running Coaches provide their best tip for your first half marathon.
Have more half marathon questions?
Let me know so I can dive in and create content to help answer them!
Other ways to connect with Amanda
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