Your Half-Marathon Guide: From Smart Scheduling and Fun Facts to the Perfect Shoes!
Make the half-marathon your signature event and you’ll not only stay healthier but you’ll find yourself in great company.
Your calendar is crammed. A fun run here. A full marathon there. In-between, you’ve got half-marathons on your radar. But you might want to know that scientists now say that savvy runners are wise to limit their half marathons to only two per year, and those two should be spread out with a six-month break in-between.
Like the idea of having this limit because it comes from findings of people who care about athletes enough to help them set limits? You should. After all, running savvy beats running mindlessly any day of the week and twice on Sunday!
But there’s more. You need to know what’s on the horizon and what to wear, so we’ve crammed everything you need to know into one fast read! Welcome to your half-marathon guide.
Why Only 2 per Year?
Limiting your half-marathon calendar to events scheduled 6-months apart makes perfect sense. Run too many of them in close proximity and you can limit the amount of progress you make in your goal to become an efficient, injury-free, winning athlete.
If you don't allow proper time between events, your body suffers because you’re not giving it enough time to recover. You may think you’re feeling frisky and ready to double down, but you can’t re-establish your mitochondria levels without sufficient down time.
According to Runner’s Connect, “Mitochondria are microscopic organelle found in your muscles cells that contribute to the production of ATP (energy).” Even if you have the fastest recovering Mitochondria on the planet, achieving minimal density takes from 10- to 12-weeks, so you actually thwart your recovery by signing up for too many, too soon.
Why half-marathons rule
Count on our staff to make sure you’re properly informed about what’s beneficial and what’s not. Our 18th September 2016 article, “Memo to Newbies: Half Marathons Offer So Many Advantages, Why Run a Full One?” offers ammunition you need to choose a half over a full marathon and benefit from that choice:
- Doctors say the half mimics human limitations. Your physical resources aren’t dissipated so dramatically, you become exhausted while watching your motivation sink to new lows.
- Are you a personal goal setter? You’ll achieve many more if you run a couple of halfs a year than you would if you set your mind on 42km events, only to have those goals vanish on the course because try as you may, that wall won’t fall.
- Every benefit you receive when you train for a full marathon is yours when you train for the half and your chances of injury are also cut in half because the most harrowing part of the full marathon is the second half.
- Your body benefits more from a half marathon than a full one, because your stamina doesn't dissipate as quickly and you remain energetic enough to take precautions necessary to avoid injury, especially during the second half.
- Half marathons allow you to have a life. We don’t have to tell you what you must sacrifice in order to train for the whole enchilada, right? Wanna read more?
How to prepare for the half
Love the word clever? Who doesn’t? It’s appropriate for use in myriad situations--including the headline we wrote to accompany our last half-marathon prep guide, “How to Prepare for a Half Marathon Cleverly”.
Don't have time to read all of it right now because you're crazy busy? No Worries. We've condensed the information down to the following list of tips that help you set up your training protocols, though we hope you will read the entire article in full as soon as time permits:
- Start training early to give your body time to become accustomed to conditioning.
- Work on perfecting your technique to maximise your performance.
- Pay attention to your breathing so you properly oxygenate your muscles and tissues.
- Develop a rhythm so your body conserves energy from start to finish.
- You can’t stretch too much—there’s no such thing when preparing for the half.
- Use aids like foam rollers to train; working with them benefits your entire body.
- Drink up; eat up! Water and healthy foods are your half-marathon medal conduits.
- Take into consideration your environment when you set up your conditioning routine.
- Cross train and gain a bonus: faster recovery time following half-marathons.
6 half-marathon fun facts
- Half-marathons are the second most-popular distances (the first is the 5km)
- The current world record for the half marathon are 58:23 minutes for men, set by Eritrea's Zersenay Tadese on 21 March 2010 at the Lisbon Half Marathon, and 64:52 minutes for women, set by Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya at the Prague Half Marathon on 1 April 2017.
- 61-percent of all half-marathon finishers are women
- “Entrepreneur” magazine tells the tale of a San Francisco half-marathon organiser who forgot to order porta-potties. His solution? Buy tonnage of toilet paper and post a sign pointing to the nearby woods!
- An organiser devoted to time-saving measures staged a half-marathon along a Christmas parade route!
- The average life of a running shoe is 644 kilometres; that’s around 31 half-marathons.
10 Upcoming half-marathons and shoes that get you to the finish line
1. CSC Run By The Bay
What to wear: adidas UltraBOOST ST shoes because they help you find the freedom of your best-ever half marathon run.
2. YOLO Run
What to wear: Nike’s highly-rated Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit running shoes show off your revolutionary attitude.
3. Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon
What to wear: Decide between the official shoe, UA Charged Bandit 3 or UA Threadborne Slingflex Shoes; both spell success.
4. SAFRA Bay Run Army Half Marathon
What to wear: Men’s Nike LunarGlide +3 in dashing black with red and green accents.
5. GreenRace Forest Marathon 2017
What to wear: Expect a positive outcome wearing Merrell Bare Access Flex trail running shoes.
6. Mizuno Ekiden
What to wear: Men’s Mizuno Wave Prophecy: the ultimate in responsiveness.
7. Otter Run
What to wear: There’s a reason Nike gave the Air Zoom Pegasus a bold name.
8. 2XU SG Ultra Marathon
What to wear: Saucony Freedom ISO provides more energy return, more responsiveness and more cushioning for ultra-competitors.
9. Newton Challenge
What to wear: Newton Distance 6 athletic shoes designed with half marathoners in mind.
10. Great Eastern Women’s Run
What to wear: ASICS GEL-KAYANO 24 gets you to the finish line in style.
11. ASICS Relay Singapore
What to wear: Prepare your relay team to accelerate with the ASICS DynaFlyte 2.
If you’re convinced that half-marathons are your ticket to running success, will you try to influence others using the information we dug up just for you in this article?