I've walked 2 half marathons since then and my friends and I are planning on doing another one this year. I never would have thought that I would have been able to do it, but I did it and YOU can too!
If you are throwing around the idea of walking a half marathon but don't know where to begin, this article is for you! The first thing you have to do is find a race to walk. There are countless half marathons around the country and around the world. I'll be listing websites to races in the US. Not all half marathons are walker friendly, although a lot of them are. You should be able to walk a half marathon in under 4 hours by the time you finish your training. Most websites for half marathons will have a time listed that you must complete the race by. You can find a race near you at one of the websites below.
Finding a Race
- HalfMarathonSearch.com Race Calendar by State
- HalfMarathon.net Also has World listings
- Active.com Half Marathon Search (says Running, but check half marathon you're interested in for time limit)
- RunningintheUSA Half Marathon Search Search under "Advanced Search Options" to find a race near you.
Training for the Race
When I began training to walk my first half marathon, I printed out a 14 week training schedule. My friend and I actually began to follow it loosely. I was only walking on the "long distance" days and doing other workouts the rest of the week~~usually stepping on my step.
When I began training for my second half marathon, I was going to use an intermediate walking schedule and do the fartlets and do more strength training, more yoga, etc. I ended up just doing the same thing I did when I trained for the first half marathon. I walked the long distances on Fridays and did step workouts on Mondays and Wednesdays.
I do advise that you stick to the schedules as posted for your long distance days. My friend and I wanted to see if we could do the actual 13 miles before the race and we did it twice before the race. Trust in the schedule and believe that you WILL be able to do the 13 miles on race day without doing it before then. If you do 13 miles too many times before you're ready, you risk injuring yourself.
There are so many training plans out there that are longer than 14 weeks, but I feel like 14 weeks is long enough to train to walk a half marathon. If you would like to see some of the longer (or shorter) schedules though, I've listed links to some below.
Unfortunately, the walking plan that I used isn't available anymore. I've searched through all kinds of websites to find the most comparable charts and plans. I was able to find one site that has a cool chart that you can actually customize to your race date. That way, it gives you exact calendar days and what you should be doing on each day. It looks like this:
I also found a website called LogYourRun.com. You have to sign up, but it's free to sign up. They have a list of user-generated training plans. Once you choose a training plan, you can input your "end date" on a training calendar~~all programs end on a Sunday, so it will need to be a Sunday. Once you've created your training plan, it can be accessed on a calendar at the website. You can also log your mileage on a calendar. It asks for all kinds of information on the calendar so that you can keep track of this info: distance, time, pace, route, shoes, weight, percent body fat, calories burned, heart rate, pain, feeling, weather, temp and notes.
I can tell you that this would have been really helpful for me the first two times I trained. Why? Every week something new hurt! One week my hip flexors hurt. One week my knee hurt. On longer distances, I started getting toe cramps. It would have been helpful to have all of that info in one place where I could track the different issues I was having each week.
Also, if you're feeling proud of yourself and would like to share your news with others, you can be social about it~~share to Facebook or Tweet your activity. This website also helps you keep track of the mileage on each pair of your shoes so that you know when to replace them.
LINKS TO WEBSITES THAT HAVE SCHEDULES FOR HALF MARATHON TRAINING
- Customizable Walk Half Marathon Training Schedule from Walk Jog Run
- Women's Running Couch to Half Marathon Training Schedule
- Beginner's 16 Week Half-Marathon Training from runhers
- Women's Health 10 Week Half Marathon Training Plan
- LogYourRun.com ~~Different Training Programs and Interactive Calendars
Linking with Fitness Friday
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Have you ever thought about walking, jogging or running a half-marathon?