Training for a Half Marathon: The First 6 Weeks

I mentioned back in February that I’d signed up for my first half marathon in July. Somehow this has come round very quickly, and suddenly it is only 7 weeks away! I know a half marathon is probably nothing for those marathon-runners out there, but it’s a scary distance for me right now! I feel like I’m on track at the moment. I did a bit of research into the best way to prepare for the race. When I signed up I could run 10km and I would be tired and aching afterwards, so I knew I’d have to do some training to be able to run 21km without injuring myself. I found a few blog posts that were really helpful so I thought I’d log my experiences here in case anyone else is interested.

I gave myself 12 weeks to train for the marathon. Prior to this I was going on a run once or twice a week, but not very long ones. I knew that if I gave myself too long I would lose momentum, so 12 weeks seemed ideal.

I’ve been running three times a week, and I’m so proud of myself for keeping that up! I’ve been doing two runs between Monday – Thursday, and then one big one at the weekend. After the first week or two I’ve been running minimum 8km – 10km every run during the week, and then I’m slowly increasing the weekend run, from 10km, to 12km, and my longest one so far is 14km. I hoped to do 16km this past weekend but it was pouring with rain and I get so intensely bored on the treadmill that I only managed 10.

It’s getting colder and darker here in Melbourne. It’s dark by 5:30pm now as it’s midwinter, so I’ve been doing a few runs straight from work and running more on the streets instead of unlit parks. It definitely makes it harder to drag myself up and out the door when it’s cold, but I always feel so great as soon as I’ve got going. Running is so good for the mood.


I also read that it’s good to strengthen other parts of your body as well as just running. So I’ve been doing a Pilates class every Wednesday and it feels sooo good to stretch it out and do core work. I’ve been meaning to do some HIIT or strength training too but I think at the moment, exercising 4 days a week is enough for me…

I haven’t changed my diet much except for the odd protein shake after a long run. I eat a pretty balanced diet but I’m 95% vegetarian so feel like I lack protein sometimes. However a couple of weeks ago I ran 14km on Saturday, 11km on Monday, and 9km on Tuesday and I was ravenous on Wednesday. Not a normal kind of hunger where you haven’t eaten for a few hours and your blood sugar is low, but my body needed fuel! The running hunger is real guys. So I had a few more snacks that day…

I bought a Shocksock armband for my iPhone and it’s been so good, not annoying to wear at all. I use the Nike running app to track all my runs and I couldn’t train without it. I can check my pace and clock all my km so easily.

In terms of what I wear, I find cropped leggings the most comfortable to run in, strap tops, and the tightest sports bra I can find! But I might do a more detailed post on gym gear soon, as it’s turning into an obsession! Asics trainers work the best for me, but if you are thinking of running long distances, definitely go into an independent specialised running shop and get them to measure your gait and the shape of your foot etc.

Have you ever run a half marathon or marathon? I would love any tips you have! I am raising money for Children with Cancer UK. This amazing charity helps fund research, raise awareness, and provide better care for children with cancer. If you feel like sponsoring me, my fundraising page is here 🙂

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  • Reply
    June 7, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Woo you are doing so well! I did a 10km but then stopped as I find it so hard to run in the summer, I’d love to start doing it again and do a half though!

    Jasmin Charlotte

    • Reply
      Polly Rowan
      June 8, 2016 at 11:25 pm

      Yes it’s defo hard when it’s boiling hot outside! And when it’s freezing! I find Autumn/Spring the best for running.

      You should give it a go! I had only done a 10k before, but once you sign up to something there’s no going back 😉 such good motivation! xx

  • Reply
    June 7, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    This is amazing – you’re doing so well! A half marathon is no easy task. I really want to get out running but I need to get some long sleeve running gear to brave the melbourne weather! Where did you get your arm band from? I’m trying to scope out decent sports shops that don’t break the bank! x

    • Reply
      Polly Rowan
      June 8, 2016 at 11:30 pm

      Ah thanks Ala! I’ve been pretty hardy so far running in my strap tops (it’s the Brit inside me!) but have just started wearing long sleeved tops on the really cold nights. I got it from Gap body and love it, it’s really breathable.
      I got the armband from Amazon UK for pretty cheap when I was back in London in April I’m afraid. Maybe try Rebel Sports and see what they have? I totally agree – didn’t want to spend a silly amount on an armband! Amazon might ship to Australia…? xx

  • Reply
    June 8, 2016 at 6:28 am

    Really love this post! I’m training for a half marathon this October and I’m currently running about 10k (at a push!). I injured my knee yesterday so I’m a bit deflated now.

    • Reply
      Polly Rowan
      June 8, 2016 at 11:39 pm

      Oh no, I hope your knee recovers soon! Don’t worry, you’ve got plenty of time though. I only went above 10k a few weeks ago and my half marathon is next month. You will improve so quickly! Just rest up for now 🙂 XX

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