One of the most exciting and fulfilling things I recently did was complete my very first half-marathon. I never like to use this so-called midlife as an excuse not to do or try something new, but I must admit that I was a just bit wary that I might not be able to do it.
But… I did it! And what a feeling of accomplishment that was. So now I’m anxious to spread the message that you can do it, too. Training to complete a half-marathon takes patience, perseverance and persistence.
I recently reached out to Dr. Oz’s personal trainer, Joel Harper, to get his take on training for a half-marathon. And you know what? He says you can do it, too. Read on to find out his tips:
SHERYL: Do you think anyone can run/walk a half-marathon?
JOEL: Yes, unless you have a medical issue or are not willing to put in the daily work. It’s a great thing to participate in…the energy is electrifying and it’s a great challenge to overcome; it gives you a set date, which is extremely important to accomplishing any fitness goal.
SHERYL: How long before the run should one begin training? And how can someone avoid overtraining and/or injuries?
JOEL: I suggest a minimum of six months of proper training. I urge all my clients to listen to their bodies. Each person is different – but exercise should always feel good and pain-free. Remember, your body speaks to you; if your knee is feeling funky, then you need to do something to fix it before you continue training.
SHERYL: What’s your take on nutrition?
JOEL: Never skip breakfast. Eat three well-balanced meals and two healthy snacks each day. A rough guideline is 50 percent of your daily calories from carbohydrates; 30 percent from healthy fats and 20 percent from protein. And remember that quality matters: 100 calories of broccoli is not the same as 100 calories of chocolate chip cookies.
SHERYL: What about hydration?
JOEL: Hydrate by drinking water scattered throughout your day. The amount is specific to your body weight; take your body weight and cut it in half. That’s how many ounces you should drink each day. If you worked out or ran for an hour, add an additional 10 ounces.
SHERYL: How much time should you take off from training prior to the event?
JOEL: It varies from person to person and much of it is listening to your body; but I’d suggest to slow your training down at least five days prior to the run and take it extra-easy on your training two days prior.
SHERYL: How much time should you take to rest after the event?
JOEL: Again, this is about listening to your body. Remember, everyone is different. The best thing you can do after an event? Get a massage! Your body needs time to rest and repair itself. Personally, I usually take three days completely off. Plus, the massage, of course.
Thank you, Joel, for helping me spread the message of empowerment at any age.
Would you like to win a copy of Joel’s newest book, Mind Your Body: 4 Weeks to a Leaner, Healthier Life?
Yes? Good! Leave a comment below, and I’ll randomly choose two names. If your name is chosen, I’ll contact you by the end of the week to get your address – please be sure to respond within 24 hours of receiving my email, or someone else will get the book (and you don’t want that to happen, now do you??)
Thanks for reading and good luck on your upcoming half-marathon!
Rob k. says
Congrats Sheryl. That’s quite a feat. Recently rejoined the gym to begin workin off the extra winter pounds. Can appreciate how much effort your goal took. Best of luck keepin it up.
Irene S. Levine says
Nice interview with great advice. Congrats on this and your accomplishment!
Congratulations on completing your half marathon! I have done 2 before, but pretty much stopped running and exercising a few months ago. I’m anxious to get back to it though and plan to start training for another half marathon later this year, I’d love to read more Joel Harper on how to best do that!
Doreen McGettigan says
Congratulations!! What an accomplishment! And thank you for sharing these tips. My husband is battling to lose 100lbs gained due to medication for his heart. He is heart healthy now and off the meds, down 50llbs but struggling with the last 50. Reading this I definitely need to add more water for both of us and I will try the percentages.
Carol Cassara says
I have a friend who needs this post. Sending it along right this minute!
Lisa Froman says
The massage part sounds good. Lol. (P. S. I think it is awesome that you did this.)
Angela Mager says
These are great tips, and so encouraging too! When are you going for the full marathon? 😉
Well, you deserve huge kudos for that! Wow so impressive. I am so impressed you did this. I always admire folks who take on such a challenge. My son competes in Tough Mudder so I know how grueling working towards marathon must have been. You go!
Congratulations on completing the half marathon. How exciting! It was great to learn some of the tips, including the calculation of how much water to drink!
Thanks for the tips. I’ve never done a half marathon but have been wondering how it would be to do one. I remember doing fun runs (5k) a few years back which was fun though.
I started out 2015 with the thought of trying to train for a popular half-marathon here. But after learning their fees to enrolin the racel, I changed my mind. (I’m of the lower-middle class, and can not really justify the cost) Needless to say, I let this take the wind out of my sails and lost the motivation. But after coming across your column, I have been re-energized. Thanks!