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7 different ways your training can create the healthier lifestyle you want

Half marathons are extremely popular within the running community. Every day, more people start running as a way to create a healthier lifestyle. Consistency is key if half marathon training is to become a factor in reaching your goal of having a healthier lifestyle. Even if you spend 12-18 weeks training, the consistency of your training plan will naturally lead you to a healthier lifestyle. Yes, you have to hydrate, get enough sleep, and eat right. That’s what will fuel your body during training. Doing that effectively will provide you with what you need during your half marathon training and factor into your healthier lifestyle. Below are 7 different ways training for 13.1 miles can create the healthier lifestyle you want.

Improve cardiovascular capacity

Your stamina will improve as your mileage increases.

Your cardiovascular capacity will become more efficient as your miles increase during your training. Cardiovascular capacity is basically your body’s ability to deliver oxygen to your muscles. This is vital to your growth as a runner! As your body gets better at this, you’ll be able to cover longer distances. During your build-up, that tough 6-mile run will become just another number during your longer runs down the road. Building up your stamina coincides with your increase in mileage, which will help on race day.

Burn calories

Once you get into the groove and start covering long distances regularly, your body’s metabolism rate will improve. New runners also burn more calories than veteran runners because they’re working harder. Don’t forget to fuel your body with a well-balanced diet and regularly hydrate. Burning calories is directly linked to the next benefit, weight loss. But you have to burn more than you take in! That’s why eating healthy foods and hydrating effectively is the foundation to a healthier lifestyle.

Lose weight

You’ll lose weight during your training if you follow your plan and eat healthily.

If you eat properly, hydrate effectively, and stick to your training plan, weight loss will occur. This could also help you become a better and more efficient runner. The less weight you run with, the easier it will be for your body to run. Some runners actually do the opposite and wear weighted vests. This makes their run or workout more difficult, helping them become stronger. Your metabolism, a balanced diet, and consistent routine are all crucial to losing weight and establishing a healthier lifestyle. 

Create structure

Finding the right balance in one’s life isn’t simple these days, especially with work, family, friends, travel, and leading a healthier lifestyle. Once you decide to train for a half marathon, you’ll need to fit that into your busy schedule. Figure out what works best for you, build your routine, and you’ll develop a natural schedule. All you need to do is be smart and tweak your lifestyle around this schedule. If you’re a morning person, knock out your run before work. Skip that happy hour and fast food and eat a healthy meal and go to bed early instead. If you have kids, take them with you. All of these little changes will create your training structure.

Better your mental health

Running can reduce your stress and anxiety levels.

Life, work, kids, unnecessary drama, and uncontrollable external factors can all increase stress and anxiety. This could lead to poor eating, drinking too much, and a lack of sleep. Running helps reduce stress and anxiety which in turn helps you stay on track. Solidifying your routine, strengthening your body, and eating well can make you fit and improve your mental health. Think of it as a cycle

  • you build a routine, eat right, and sleep well so you can train
  • your training can help reduce stress and anxiety
  • you reduce stress and anxiety so you can stay on track
  • repeat!

Join the running community

There are running groups and clubs just about everywhere. Some are free, some charge a monthly fee for coaching and training. Give them a try until you find the one(s) that work best for you. They could help dictate your schedule, introduce you to new people, and get advice from veteran runners. As you get more comfortable, you’ll meet new people and slowly become a part of your running community.

Boost immunity

Better metabolism, improved stamina, and increased lung capacity are health benefits that can lead to an improved immune system. This could help your body recover from runs faster, make you less susceptible to illness, and further your healthier lifestyle. If you’re sick you won’t be able to run or workout until you’re better. Having an immune system that’s in tip-top shape will keep you on track and in your healthier lifestyle routine.

Running has many benefits that can lead to a healthier lifestyle. Settle on your routine and stick with it. Eat right, hydrate effectively, and get enough sleep. All of these actions are connected to your training and can lead to a healthier lifestyle. All of this can benefit your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. 

Expand your knowledge as a runner when you learn about these running terms

Running is a great addition to your life. Not only does it help you get or stay in shape, but it also stimulates your brain and improves your mental health. Every day people discover running through their friends, social media, or curiosity. While running itself is a simple concept, runners have been known to complicate it a bit with science, analytics, and terminology! We introduce you to and break down various running terms all runners should know, especially first-timers.

Expand your running vocabulary

Base Run

Different training runs will prepare you for race day.

This is the short run or maintenance run that you do. This should be done at a moderate speed for a moderate length of time. At this pace, you should be able to hold a conversation easily.

Strides

This is a run of 50-100m. Your stride is purposefully longer as you gain speed and momentum before reaching your top speed. Great for activating and strengthening muscles. Strides can be done as a warm-up, cool down, or specific workout aimed at increasing your speed.

Shakeout 

Extremely easy-paced jog meant to loosen your body and get the blood flowing. Can be a shorter distance (1-2 miles) or time (10-15 minutes).

Progression Run

As the name suggests in this type of run you progressively increase your speed until your pace becomes more difficult to sustain. This helps your body acclimate to different paces and increase your lung capacity.

Intervals 

Runners often run strides or a quick shakeout run before a race.

Intervals are the short, slow runs sandwiched between your longer, fast runs. The longer runs are meant to be more intense with the shorter runs acting as your recovery. Adding intervals is a great way to vary your running routine and grow as a runner.

Turnover Workout

This workout includes short bursts so that your body becomes acclimated to the rotation of the joints. Higher turnover uses less energy and decreases stress on your muscles. 

Threshold Run

This run involves a speed that is slightly faster than your usual pace but a little under your 5K pace. As you grow as a runner you should be able to hold this pace for at least 30 minutes. 

Tempo Run 

Pickup runs prepare you for when you get fatigued at the end of your race.

Tempo refers to a higher speed at which you can maintain momentum for a long time. This type of workout can be uncomfortable, but it’s great for anyone looking to build their stamina or push themselves. 

Pickup Run

Usually done in the middle or end of a workout or run. Increasing your pace in the middle or at the end of a run is perfect for getting used to running while being fatigued. It helps train your mind and body to eventually run longer distances and times.

Recovery Run

As the name suggests, it is there to help you recover. It is a slow-paced run and helps you with your form and improves fatigue resistance. Meant to be extremely relaxed.

Cool Down

A light jog of a mile or two keeps the blood flowing even though you are progressively slowing down. 

Running has multiple benefits, but beginner runners can make mistakes when starting out. Become familiar with these running terms and trust the process. Remember to effectively warm-up before any run to ensure you get the most out of your workout and prevent injury.

We’re here to help if you’re not sure when you should start training for your half

Congratulations on deciding to train for your first half marathon. Or congrats on returning for another 13.1 miles in pursuit of your PR. Either way, you should start training at some point. But what’s the optimal training timeframe for your goals? Reaching your goals requires dedication and a high level of discipline. Before you begin, take into account your current fitness level, running history, and goals. 

Give yourself enough time to train for your half marathon.

Every runner is unique with different skills, abilities, and training needs. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to prepare, but not too much that you experience runner burnout. Our advice will get you going and provide information on when you should start training.

When you should start training

Most half marathon training plans are 12 to 18 weeks long. If you can comfortably run three miles without stopping and you’re 12 to 18 weeks away from race day, you should start training. At first, try to run 3-4 days a week. As you progress, bump it to 4-5 days a week. This is where you build your base and introduce your body to what you’re about to ask it to do. As you build your endurance and stamina, slowly increase the mileage of your runs.

Add cross-training for 1 or 2 days per week to reduce injury chances and strengthen your body. Swimming, cycling, elliptical training, and yoga are excellent cross-training methods. Don’t forget to rest when your plan calls for a rest day. And listen to your body! If it’s telling you to take a break or pull things back a bit, then do it. You’d rather miss 1-2 runs or workouts than get injured and miss 1-2 months. Skipping rest days is a simple training mistake all runners should avoid.

Build mileage slow and steady

The right amount of training will help you achieve your goals.

If you’re a first-time runner following a longer plan, allow for the first 10 weeks to build up your mileage safely. In a 10-week training program, gradually build your mileage from about 15 to 30 miles. The idea is to increase your mileage by 10 percent every week for injury prevention and optimal improvement. The trick is to gradually introduce your body to more miles so that it gets stronger over time.

Introduce a healthy diet during training

Whatever plan you choose to follow, pair it with eating healthy and hydrating properly. How healthy your diet can be is completely up to you, just like when you should start training. But just like proper training and slowly increasing your mileage, a healthy diet will make things that much easier. You have to give your body the fuel it needs to run the miles you want it to run. And you have to hydrate effectively and replace the electrolytes you’ve lost during training. Get started with these 9 healthy and easy-to-make breakfasts.

There are numerous half marathon training plans that you can choose. Every runner is different, but it’s important to remember the newer you are to running, the earlier you should start training. Remember to include a wide variety of runs, add cross-training, and give your body the rest and recovery it needs.