How to train for a half marathon

How to train for a half marathon
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First Published: Fri, Sep 26 2008. 12 20 AM IST

Updated: Fri, Sep 26 2008. 12 20 AM IST
The ideal training period for a half marathon (just over 21km) is 12 weeks. If you are in New Delhi or Bangalore, starting today, you have 9-10 weeks to go before the running event in your city. Not quite perfect, but count back from the day of the race and you can start training from tomorrow.
If you signed up for the Mumbai half marathon in January, you should be perfectly primed for take-off!
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There are tons of training programmes out there—on the Web, in books and magazines… Much like going to a doctor, you need to do your research, try out a couple and then focus on the one that suits you best. That’s what I did, and this is what I chose: a schedule devised by Hal Higdon, a marathoner himself (now also a trainer and writer), which I’m outlining here.
Some additional tips:
• Stick to one training programme and don’t mix things up—that could spell disaster
• Do not overtrain or overstretch. As with antibiotics, never try to “make up” for a lost week by doubling up—just resume the schedule
• Keep an eye on nutrition and hydration. Load up on carbohydrates in the last week, and make sure you sleep well
• Check your shoes and apparel—for more on running shoes, refer to “Surf”, below left
• Make sure your toenails are clipped
• Above all, have fun
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First Published: Fri, Sep 26 2008. 12 20 AM IST