The half marathon, also known as the 21K, is a serious running distance and it is very challenging. It is the next level for people who believe that they have already conquered the 10K and want to try something more demanding.
The common amount of time needed to train for the 21K is three months, since training for a full marathon would be about five months. The recovery time after is substantially faster than when running a marathon, naturally.
This is good especially for people that want to run several such races in a single season because the marathon can probably only be run once per season because of how demanding it is on the body.
It is also the perfect stepping stone for someone who has the goal of eventually running a full marathon one day.
It is the perfect way to test ones endurance and mental healthy in preparation for the ultimate goal of running a full marathon.
The 12-week training program can be applied on four different levels, ranging from a program for beginners to one for people who want to run competitively.
There is no such thing as a program that will be fitting for every individual, and they need to be custom-tailored to the persons individual abilities and strengths.
When following any of the four programs, the runner will be able to take the training one step at a time and develop their endurance, strength, speed and tapering at a natural and gradual rate in preparation.
It is important to first find out what program best suits the individual and to make time for the training in a person’s schedule, because it needs to be adhered to very strictly. If a person is not able to run the mileage that is suggested for one particular week, then he or she must gradually get to that level by adding one mile to the run every week until the desired level is reached.
The advanced program is very strict and very difficult. It will include running every single day with no days off to rest, so it is important to note this if a person believes they are ready for such a difficult training program.
When training to compete, no days can be taken off. Sometimes, in the other training programs, a person should decide whether it is best to take a day off to rest or to simply reduce the mileage for that day when they are not feeling up to the full training regime for the day.
It depends on what feels comfortable for each individual person.
The beginner program is for the runner that can currently run in between 15 and 25 miles a week and can expect to finish the half marathon in about two hours.
Intermediate runners are those that can run 25 to 50 miles immediately and expect themselves to be able to run the half marathon in under one hour and 45 minutes.
Advanced runners can tackle in between 40 and 60 miles per week and finish the half marathon in under an hour and a half.
The most difficult training program, the competitive one, is for those that have no problem running more than 60 miles a week at the beginning and want to finish the race in under one hour and 20 minutes.