To complete a half marathon you need endurance, the ability to finish 13 miles. In this chapter you will learn about specific running routines and exercises to build body strength to make you run further.
The long Run
In half marathon training it has been found that 3 runs of 10 – 13 miles over the 8 weeks prior to the half marathon are an important predictor of completing the race.
Benefits of Long Run
- Strengthens the heart – larger stroke volume.
Strengthens the leg muscles – endurance is developed.
Mind Work – mental toughness and coping skills are developed.
- Develops fat burning capacity
Increases number and size of mitochondria
- Increases capillary growth into muscle fibers.
Increases myoglobin concentration in muscle fibers.
- Increases aerobic efficiency.
- Increase in Maximum V02..
If you do weekly long runs you are guaranteed finishing a race, injury permitting. The long run is the difference between a DNF and crossing the finish line.
Training on hills is a great way to build leg muscle stamina. Hills for running are a way of increasing resistance, like adding weight in strength training.
Hills provide greater resistance than level ground; the steeper the hill, the greater the resistance. You develop greater push off strength and power in your running stride with hill training. By increasing your stride strength and pow’er, you increase stride length. You will run faster and further when you increase stride strength and length.
When you incorporate hills into your conditioning program, use the same principles as any resistance training. Start with minimal reps, and allow plenty of rest in between workouts.
The squat is a compound, full body exercise that trains primarily the core running muscles. These are thighs, hips and buttocks, quads (vastus lateralus medialis and intermedius), hamstrings. It also strengths the bones, ligaments and insertion of the tendons throughout the lower body.
Squats are considered a vital exercise for increasing the strength of the legs and buttocks. Runners will get benefit by doing high repetition squats without added wreight.
Perform Dead lift to build upper body strength
As a runner, the focus of the upper-body w’orkout should be to gain muscular strength and remain lean. So, go with lighter weights and higher repetitions. Heavy wreights are for those interested in adding muscles. Dead lift keeps your upper body lean and light. The leaner and lighter you are , the faster you will run.
Do Core Exercises
Core exercises help to build strong abdominal and low-back muscles. Building the strength of these muscle will enhance your running performance and may reduce injur}’ risk. The best core exercises for runners are those that mimic the specific ways the core muscles are required to work during running. Check out You Tube on how to do Supine march, Standing Trunk Rotation with Cable and Suitcase Deadlift.