Half Marathon Advice From Everyday Runners

Graber and Graziano followed plans that had them topping out at 12 miles for their long run before the race. More intermediate level plans call for long runs that are equal to or exceed the half marathon distance. Runners with many years of running and races under their feet could consider programs that lead to long runs of 13+ miles. Newer runners should look for plans where the longest runs are 11 or 12 miles.

More: Top 5 Half Marathon Fears and How to Conquer Them

With the right training plan, preparing for a half marathon can be a wonderful experience. Graber and Graziano were excited to run their first half marathon. Having a goal to work toward was a great motivator for Graziano. "I am just so excited to have set this goal for myself, and ultimately accomplish it. Period," she says. "It's truly something I never thought I would ever do, ever. It makes me feel empowered and in control, in a very healthy way."

Graber found the training empowering as well. "I love watching how my mileage has increased to numbers I never thought possible," she says. "And I love entering my mileage on Dailymile and checking off what I did on my running plan. Check. It's a sense of accomplishment."

More: 5 Mental Tips for Half Marathon Training

That sense of accomplishment comes from setting a goal, sticking to your training and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Train for your first half marathon and you might just find that your comfort zone increases, along with those long runs.

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