Summer is a great time to run. The beautiful weather provides us with opportunities for many joyful outings, from morning to evening. But it also gives us the chance to ramp up our training and set a possible goal of racing a half marathon in the fall.
Half marathons – 13.1 miles – are challenging but fun, especially when you are prepared for them. If you ever want to do a full marathon, it is a good idea first to train for a half marathon to test your fitness level and stamina.
There are several half marathons throughout the local area, including Philadelphia and the Lehigh Valley  this fall. Philadelphia has two half marathons scheduled, one in September  and the other in November. Philadelphia’s course is relatively flat and takes you through the historic areas of the city.
Training for a half marathon can be enjoyable, as long as you allow for the appropriate amount of time. You should give yourself at least two months to prepare for a half marathon race in the fall. Running magazines  and online forums provide many great ideas and different types of training tools.
There are different types of training schedules for each type of runner, i.e. beginner, intermediate and advanced. A training schedule gives you the tools to establish a good baseline of mileage before your half marathon race.
Keep in mind to listen to your body as you train and don’t push yourself past your limits. Your body knows how far it can go before you injure  yourself.
Cross training is an excellent way to help keep your body in good condition, even when preparing for a long-distance race. Cycling and circuit training are other good workouts to keep your body strong and healthy.
Don’t forget to have the proper footwear and to stretch before and after your workout. Also be sure to keep properly hydrated, especially during those hot summer days of training.
Happy running and good luck on your first half marathon!