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Run a Half-Marathon in 10 Weeks: Beginner Training Plan

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Go from total beginner to half-marathon runner with this 10-week training plan.

Be a Runner: The 10-Week Beginner Training Plan

You're a beginner're a walker or weekend jogger or if three miles is a challenge. The Couch to 13.1 beginner plan takes you from a zero base of running to the half-marathon distance slowly to avoid injury and to get your body used to a jogging routine.

From Couch to 13.1: One Woman's Story

Brittany Silverman, 26, was the last person her friends would have believed could run a half-marathon. The social butterfly had not so much as stepped into her gym since purchasing a membership, let alone broken a sweat beyond high school P.E. class. "I was ready for a lifestyle change, and I knew that following a training program would do it," Brittany says. "I was tired of being the one cheering on the sidelines as all my friends did races."

Take baby steps
A self-professed running-phobe, Brittany used our Couch to 13.1 beginner plan to train for the MORE/FITNESS Women's Half-Marathon. "The schedule eases you in with walk intervals that are twice as long as the run segments and then gradually stretches out the running," says Gail Kislevitz, a coach for the New York Road Runners' marathon charity team, Team for Kids, who created the 10-week half-marathon program. "After two weeks I didn't want to stop to walk anymore. I felt like a runner!" Brittany says.

Build a social network
Brittany traded happy hour for postwork runs with the Nike Run Club three nights a week. "I became friends with another first-time half-marathoner there," Brittany says. "I felt as if I had a partner to do this with." If you run solo, Kislevitz suggests updating your Facebook page, Twitter feed and such with your progress to elicit online cheers.

Get in gear
Brittany needed to replace her sports bra, since having a larger chest had previously deterred her from doing high-impact workouts. "Adjustable padded straps and an adjustable rib band are best for bigger cup sizes," says exercise physiologist LaJean Lawson, PhD, sports bra expert at Champion Activewear, who fitted Brittany.

Pick "fast" foods
Eating for long runs was a new concept for Brittany. "Carbohydrates are your source for fuel, because they turn most readily into glycogen, which feeds your muscles," says nutritionist Felicia Stoler, RD, author of Living Skinny in Fat Genes, who helped Brittany revamp her diet. "It's best to eat high-carb snacks or meals, like whole wheat toast with peanut butter and a banana, an hour before your run." Stoler recommends a daily diet that consists of 50 to 55 percent carbohydrates from whole grains, fruits, and veggies, 10 to 20 percent protein, and 25 to 30 percent fats, like avocado and nuts.

She Did It!
Brittany's race time: 2:20:39 (10:44-minute-mile pace)

What do you think of this story?  Leave a Comment.

What do you think? Review this story!
rbelvin18 wrote:

Ladies do the couch to 5k program first u will be surprised by the end that u can up that and will be running 3 miles in 30 mins on a treadmill then take this on. baby steps

7/29/2014 11:15:16 PM Report Abuse
momofour09 wrote:

Downloaded with excitement then saw the 3 mile run for week 2. Umm, I'm failing to see how a beginner is expected to do that. I'll keep looking around the site for something a bit easier to follow.

3/28/2014 08:33:25 AM Report Abuse
m.iannace wrote:

I love it and seems so doable. I am doing other workout programs so I will do this along with it!

2/24/2014 01:36:28 PM Report Abuse
laurawesterdaal wrote:

great story, really motivating, I would like to do a half-marathon in 9 months so have a bit longer to train but definitely need it as I have 20kg to lose

1/30/2014 12:31:49 PM Report Abuse
noodlescooz22 wrote:

If this was for beginners, then it wouldn't have you start running 3 miles in the second week.

5/2/2013 06:41:39 PM Report Abuse

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