If you have been running 5 kms - 10 kms regularly and are planning to step up a notch and participate in the half marathon, this post if for you. As a thumb rule, if you are not able to get up from sleep and run a 10k comfortably anyday, you are still not ready for a half marathon. Below are some pointers to help you complete your first half marathon in style

1.Building your Aerobic Base 

A good foundation is very essential for the construction of a building. Similarly, buidling your aerobic base is the 1st step in attempting a half marathon. For any endurance activity that happens for a prolonged period, it is critical to train the body at lesser heart rate/intensity. The Maffetone method is a scientifically proven method to improve your aerobic base.

Before you kick start your training, I would recommend 3 days of running in your aerobic zone for a minimum of 4-8 weeks to improve your aerobic base. If you are able to talk comfortably in sentences while you are running, you are mostly probably in your aerobic zone

2.Incorporating a strength Routine:

There are 2 different aspects to be considered in long distance running, i.e. cardiovascular strength & muscular strength. Cardiovascular strength adapts very quickly and so runners tend to run more soon however it takes a long time for the muscle adaptations to happen. Because of this reason, runners tend to get injured often. Hence it is critical to incorporate a regular strength routine for long distance running (2 days recommended).

3. Speed Workouts

Speed workouts are an integral part of a structured training plan. Incorporating intervals and tempos will help in building VO2 Max capacity and to improve lactate threshold. It is recommended that the runners have a solid foundation before starting with speed workouts as there is a very high chance of injury. Not recommended for first time half marathon runners.

4. Race Specific Workouts

For any distance, race specific workouts are critical. It is very important to have workouts that mimic race day conditions. Some of the key factors to be considered are distance, terrain (flat/hill), run time of the day, temperature, food/hydration available at aid stations etc.  Understanding all these factors will ensure better performance on race day


Rest is sacrosanct in training and is an important aspect in training. I would recommend at least 1-2 days of complete rest based on the intensity of the training plan. Apart from rest, 7-8 hrs of sleep, a healthy balanced diet, avoiding running on back to back days etc. will aid quick recovery.


Based on sweat rate of individual, I would recommend 500- 750 ml of fluids every hr. (mix of water & electrolyte for replacing (over-hydration to be avoided). An electrolyte drink that has 6-8% content as carbohydrates is a good hydration drink. Hydration is an extremely individualized topic and hence I would suggest to experiment to understand how your body responds.




Aravind Kumar

Post : 14

Coach Aravind believes in a holistic approach to training combined with nutrition & recovery based on proven research. He is the founder of his coaching initiative Metamorphosis. Aravind has become an accomplished ultra-runner over the last 6 years. He was one of the youngest Indians to complete the Comrades Marathon in 2014. He is also one of the first Indians to finish the grueling Hong Kong Ultra in 2017. He is a finisher of the 100km Run of Kutch where he raised money for charity. He is also the winner of the Bhatti Lakes Ultra 100km (Delhi)..