How to Start Training Now For a Fall Half Marathon

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If you have been considering running a fall half marathon, this is the perfect week to start. With most plans requiring 12-18 weeks of training, runners will position themselves ready for a race in the peak of racing season.


There are a slew of benefits to beginning a plan in the middle of summer and seasoned runners know that this is the time to get down to business.

Pick a plan that works best with your ability, your schedule, and your goal and find out why summer training leads to successful fall racing.

1) There’s time to adapt to heat

Running in the heat is undoubtedly difficult and runners will find their paces are much slower when the mercury rises.

However, keeping this in mind and adjusting as necessary, runners looking to race in the fall will have an edge when the temperatures begin to drop. Concentrate on running by effort and don’t fret when paces for speed or tempo workouts seem incredibly tough.

2) The days are longer

The temperatures may make getting out the door difficult, but the long summer days make it easy to feel as though you have time. Whether you are a morning runner or evening runner, the days stretch on long enough to squeeze in a few miles almost any time.

3) It’s motivation for your vacation

It can be easy to forgo running while traveling, but having a goal race will likely inspire a few more sweat sessions away from home. A couple of miles after sitting in the car or plane can actually feel refreshing.

Plan your routes and workouts ahead of time and adjust when the inevitable issues arise. If you have to skip one week of speed work or a long run, just pick up where you left off when you get back home.

4) There’s time for tune-up races

In almost every pocket of the country, there are plenty of 5Ks and 10Ks to enter during the late summer months. Tune up races can help make weekend long runs a little more bearable or give runners a good idea of their fitness as they progress through a training plan.

5) You can make strides toward your long-term goals

Training for a fall half marathon can easily translate into training for a spring marathon if you are looking to build on a solid base. Give yourself a few weeks of rest and recovery before you begin again, but use the fitness to your advantage after tackling the 13.1 distance.

Carissa Liebowitz has run the Boston Marathon as well as dozens of marathons and half marathons. You can follow her running adventures on StravaInstagram and her blog.

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